Methods of coaching to improve decision making in rugby

Allen, Trevor (2007-03)

Thesis (M Sport Sc (Sport Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


The purpose of this study was to describe the different methods used by coaches to improve decision making in ruby. The study included three coaches from the Western Cape area. Two of the three coaches worked with U/20A league teams and the third coach worked in the Super A league. Eight coaching sessions were video taped and analysed to identify the coaching method used when presenting skill development activities. The verbal behaviour each coach was also recorded. Five rugby games involving each of the teams were also analysed to determine which team had the highest success rates in key categories. The results showed that Coach 1 integrated decision making with skill practice primarily through the method of verbal feedback during sessions where he used a direct teaching style. His comments to players during technical skill instruction were focussed on linking their skill performance to its tactical use in a game. The other two coaches followed the expected pattern of using indirect teaching styles to teach players how to apply tactics. It was concluded that different coaches may use different teaching styles to improve players’ decision making. The belief that the direct style of coaching focuses on technical learning at the expense of tactical understanding may be false. Much more research needs to be completed on coaching methods before specific recommendations can be made to coaches about optimal approaches to balancing the demand for good tactical decision making and sound technical skill performance.

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