Practice Design

A tennis specific practice assessment tool using the principles of representative learning design

The representative learning design framework has been introduced to coaches and sport practitioners to assess the extent that practice tasks simulate the athlete’s performance context in competition. While this representative learning design framework provides useful concepts, you may be thinking:

“How can I apply this in practice?”

Lyndon Krause and colleagues created and validate an applied assessment tool for assessing the representativeness of practice tasks. They developed the tool for tennis coaches.

The Study

The study used a Delphi methodology. This involved having a panel of experts comment (via an anonymous questionnaire) on the information they believed was important for developing a tool to assess practice. A total of 23 experts – both academics and tennis coaches – assessed the content validity and inter-rater consistency of the “Representative Practice Assessment Tool” (RPAT).

The Final Outcome

Following the assessments and modifications to the RPAT, the final validated tool is displayed in Figure 1 below. The RPAT can reliably separate practice tasks that differ in how much they represent competition according to the principles of representative learning design.


The major goal of developing RPAT was to assist coaches in applying the representative learning design framework in practice. This should inform more efficient practice task design and improve the quality of skill development in tennis.


Krause, L., Farrow, D., Reid, M., Buszard, T., & Pinder, R. (2017). Helping coaches apply the principles of representative learning design: validation of a tennis specific practice assessment tool. Journal of Sports Sciences, 1-10.

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