Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Helping Youth Athletes Thrive: An Exploratory Study of the Youth Tennis Market in New Zealand

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posted on 2021-12-08, 07:53 authored by Emery, Jacob G.

This project investigated the commercial opportunities for innovation in the youth tennis market. A lean startup methodology approach was adopted for business development within the project. The first study consisted of interviewing players, parents and coaches involved in the youth tennis environment in New Zealand. It was found that the key problems identified by athletes were psychological challenges while both coaches and parents struggled with relationship management. The second study surveyed athletes from a wide range of sports to test if the findings from the first study would generalise to other sports as well as investigating reasons why athletes may not have engaged with existing sport psychology products and services. The results showed the findings in the first study did extend to other youth sports and highlighted a lack of knowledge and perceived efficacy as well as financial cost as barriers to use for existing sport psychology products and services. A literature review relating to the problems identified during the research for this project documents motivational, goal-setting and self-regulatory mechanisms which could be incorporated into a product or service to assist youth athletes. A third, and final, study tested potential mediums for a commercial offering as well as reaction to several features. The findings support the use of a mobile phone application and features relating to communication, motivation, goal-setting, and self-regulation were all supported. A business case presents a path to commercialisation for a mobile phone application addressing the problems faced by youth athletes utilising key research identified in the literature review. This project was able to identify a clear market need, uncover solutions and present the next steps in developing a commercially viable product.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Innovation and Commercialisation

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Innovation and Commercialisation

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Victoria Management School

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and the Cognitive sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Wilson, Marc