Attitudes and behaviours of top-level junior rugby union coaches towards the coaching of proper contact technique in the tackle – a pilot study
AbstractBackground. Coaching strategies for effective technique and injury prevention have been proposed for the tackle. Despite this, little is
known about current coaching attitudes and the behaviours of coaches towards proper contact technique in the tackle, especially at the
Objective. To report on the attitudes and behaviours of junior rugby union coaches towards coaching of proper contact technique in the
Methods. Seven coaches of the top 8 rugby-playing schools (Premier Division) in the Western Province Rugby Union participated in the
study (representing 88% of the entire population of top-level junior coaches in the region). Coaches completed a questionnaire, modelled
on previous research, surveying attitudes and behaviours towards tackling.
Results. Proper technique for injury prevention was rated as very important (57%) and important (29%), with 14% undecided. Proper
technique to improve performance was rated as very important (57%) and important (43%). To further develop coaching knowledge
and to develop new training methods, ‘coaching colleagues’ (very much – 71%; mean rating 4.7; 95% CI 4.3 - 5.2) was rated as the most
Conclusion. Collectively, the coaches in this study demonstrated a positive attitude towards injury prevention and performance. Additional
means of communicating information to coaches, other than the traditional channels, have also been highlighted here.
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