Analysis of South African rugby coaches' engagement with performance analysis

Magwa, Zukhanye (2015-12)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2015

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The analysis of sport performance has been noted as one of the key building blocks within the coaching process, whereby coaches evaluate a player’s performance, identify weak points and provide adequate feedback to correct or improve future performances (Groom et al., 2011). The introduction of performance analysis (PA) has allowed coaches to have a wider range of tools available to provide feedback. In sports such as rugby, analysis has been a key tool in monitoring the demands of a match as well as playing a part in a players’ decision making during a game (James, 2009). Traditionally, the assessment of performance was linked to a coach’s observational capacity which could be influenced by their subjective views. Furthermore, research has shown that coaches were able to remember less than 50% of key events during one half of a soccer match. Thus indicating that coaches’ capacity to observe, recall, feedback and provide an accurate analysis of key events during a performance could be limited. The primary aim of the study was to use an online survey to evaluate how performance analysis is used by rugby coaches at a sub-elite level in South Africa. The main objectives included determining how PA contributes to the coaching practice and its use amongst different levels of rugby (provincial, university, school) in South Africa. In addition, the secondary aims were to assess the extent to which PA information was integrated into coaching practice, how coaches valued the use of PA and the role of the performance analyst in the coaching process. The study followed a descriptive design where data collection was conducted using an electronic questionnaire consisting of both open-ended and closed-ended questions. A total of 46 South African rugby coaches from provincial (n = 15), university (n = 15) and school (n = 16) volunteered to take part in the study. The key themes that were investigated included: demographic information of the coach, the analysis process, feedback to the players, the implications for coaching practice, how he interacts with the players, factors that influence the coach’s selection of specific key performance indicators and the coach’s assessment of the value of PA. The coaches were provided with a glossary of terms used in PA to assist them with completing the survey. Most of the coaches (67.4%) had access to video footage after every match, while 21.7% of the coaches rarely had access to video footage. Provincial coaches (93.0%) had most readily access to video footage compared to other coaching levels (p = 0.004). The majority of coaches (80.4%) received video footage within two days after a match. Provincial coaches had the fastest delivery time, with most of these coaches receiving video footage within a day (87%). Most of the coaches carried out PA themselves (67.4%). The majority of coaches (60.9%) identified PA to inform their coaching practice all the time. This was the same at each respective level with more provincial coaches using PA to inform their coaching compared to other coaching levels (86.0% at provincial, 40.0% at university and 56.0% at school). Most of the coaches (84.8%) in the study acknowledged that the use of PA to introduce changes to their game tactics was essential and very important. Most of the coaches (63.0%) also highlighted that their coaching philosophy was the main influence on their selection of KPIs with the selection of KPIs changing from game to game, apart from most provincial coaches who’s KPIs remained consistent from game to game (47.0%). There were 47.8% of the coaches who found the service provided by the individual who conducts PA as essential, while 34.8% valued it as important. It was concluded that most coaches involved in high level coaching in South Africa valued the use of PA and used it consistently to inform their coaching practice. The coaches involved at the highest level of coaching in the study, namely provincial coaches, have the most access to PA and used it more consistently to guide their coaching practice. The findings of this study have provided insight to how and why South African rugby coaches engage with performance analysis. In particular, these findings inform specifically on how performance analysis currently impacts their coaching practice.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die ontleding van sportprestasie is bekend as een van die belangrikste boustene binne die afrigtingsproses, waardeur die afrigters 'n speler se prestasie evalueer, sy swakpunte identifiseer en terugvoering gee hoe om toekomstige prestasie te verbeter (Groom et al., 2011). Die bekendstelling van prestasie-ontleding (PO) het afrigters toegelaat om 'n groter verskeidenheid gereedskap te gebruik om beter terugvoering te gee. In sportsoorte soos rugby speel ontleding 'n belangrike rol in die monitering van die eise in 'n wedstryd, asook 'n speler se besluitneming tydens 'n wedstryd (James, 2009). Tradisioneel was die assessering van prestasie gekoppel aan die waarnemingsvaardighede van die afrigter, maar dit kan soms beïnvloed word deur subjektiewe denkwyse. Verder het navorsing getoon dat afrigters minder as 50% van die belangrikste gebeure in een helfte van 'n sokkerwedstryd kon onthou. Dus dui dit aan dat die afrigters se kapasiteit om waar te neem, te onthou, terugvoer te gee en 'n akkurate analise aan te bied beperk kan word tydens belangrike wedstryde of oefeninge. Die primêre doel van die studie was om 'n aanlyn-opname te gebruik om te evalueer hoe Suid-Afrikaanse rugby-afrigters met PO betrokke raak. Die belangrikste doelwitte sluit in hoe PO bydra tot die sukses van 'n span en die gebruik van PO onder verskillende vlakke van rugby (provinsiale, universiteit, skool) in Suid-Afrika. Daarbenewens het die sekondêre doelstellings die mate waarin PO inligting geïntegreer word gedurende afrigting geëvalueer, hoeveel waarde afrigters aan PO heg en die rol van die prestasie ontleder in die afrigtingsproses. Die studie het 'n beskrywende ontwerp gebruik en data is ingesamel met behulp van 'n elektroniese vraelys wat bestaan het uit beide oop- en geslote-einde vrae. 'n Totaal van 46 Suid-Afrikaanse rugby-afrigters op provinsiale vlak (n = 15), universiteit (n = 15) en skole vlak (n = 16) het aangebied om aan hierdie studied deel te neem. Die kern temas wat ondersoek was sluit in: die demografiese inligting van die afrigter, hulle ontledingsproses, terugvoering aan die spelers, die implikasies vir die afrigtingspraktyk, hoe die afrigter in wisselwerking tree met die spelers, faktore wat die afrigter se keuse van spesifieke sleutel prestasie-aanwysers beïnvloed en die afrigter se assessering teenoor die waarde van PO. Die afrigters was voorsien met 'n woordelys van terme, wat gebruik word in PO, om hulle te help met die voltooiing van die opname. Meeste van die afrigters (67.4%) het toegang gehad tot video opnames ná elke wedstryd, terwyl 21.7% van die afrigters selde toegang gehad het tot video opnames. Afrigters op provinsiale vlak (93.0%) het die meeste toegang gehad tot video opnames in vergelyking met ander afrigtings vlakke (P = 0.004). Die meerderheid van die afrigters (80.4%) ontvang video opnames binne twee dae ná 'n wedstryd. Provinsiale afrigters het die vinnigste leweringstyd, met meeste van die afrigters wat die video opnames binne 'n dag ontvang (87%). Meeste van die afrigters het self PO uitgevoer (67.4%). Die meerderheid van die afrigters (60.9%) het PO gebruik om hul afrigtingspraktyk in te lig. Dit was dieselfde op elke onderskeie vlak, alhoewel meer provinsiale afrigters gebruik gemaak het van PO om hul afrigting in te lig in vergelyking met ander afrigting vlakke (86% op provinsiale, 40% op Universiteit en 56% by die skool). Die meerderheid van die afrigters (84.8%) in die studie het erken dat die gebruik van PO, om veranderinge aan hul speltaktiek voor te stel , noodsaaklik en baie belangrik was. Meeste van die afrigters (63%) het ook beklemtoon dat hul afrigtingsfilosofie die belangrikste invloed was op hul keuse van KPI met die keuse van die tipe KPI wat verander van wedstryd tot wedstry, in vergelyking met meeste van die provinsiale afrigters wie se KPI konsekwent gebly het van een wedstryd tot die volgende (47%). Daar was 47.8% van die afrigters wat die diens wat deur PO verrig word as noodsaaklik beskou het, terwyl 34.8% van die afrigters dit as belangrik gesien het. Daar is tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat meeste afrigters wat by hoë vlak afrigting in Suid-Afrika betrokke is, waarde heg aan die gebruik van PO en dit deurgaans gebruik om hul afrigtingspraktyk in te lig. Die afrigters betrokke op die hoogste vlak van afrigting in die studie, naamlik provinsiale afrigters, het die meeste toegang tot PO en gebruik dit meer gereeld om hul afrigtingspraktyk te lei. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie het insig verskaf hoe en hoekom Suid-Afrikaanse rugby-afrigters PO gebruik. In besonder verwys hierdie bevindinge spesifiek hoe prestasie-analise tans die afrigtingspraktyk van rugby afrigters beïnvloed.

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