SOURCES OF STRESS AND COPING STRATIGES AMONG SEMI-PROFESSIONALRUGBY UNION HOOKERS DURING TRAINING AND A COMPETITIVE ENVIROMENT
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The purpose of this present study was to identify stressors and coping strategies semiprofessional male hookers experience within training, conditioning and match performances and what affect they have on their performance. A qualitative research design was adopted in the form of semi-structured interviews with four semi-professions rugby players who regularly train more than twice a week and play competitively more than once a week. This method enabled the researcher to obtain in depth information about the stressors that affect them within three different training environments (training, conditioning, competition). Inductive and deductive data analysis identified 37 stressors and 37 coping methods within all three training environments. Analysis was then broken down into the separate performing environments; starting with a normal training environment, 10 stressors and 9 coping methods were identified. Within a conditioning environment 9 stressors and 9 coping methods were identified and within a match performance, 16 stressors and 15 coping methods were identified. The most common stressors identified were same position performing well, injury, tiredness, bad weather, opposition performing well, making physical error and scrummaging. The most commonly used coping methods across all three environments was mental block, self-talk and self-reassurance. The results of this study also found differences in types of coping strategies within different performing environments. Identifying a more problem focused coping approach adopted within training and conditioning environments and a more emotional focused coping approach adopted within a competition environment. The findings of this study can improve performance by enabling players, coaches and sports psychologists to implement specific coping strategies which were deemed as the most affective within specific performing environments, in order to reduce the effects of stressful demands related to the position hooker within rugby union.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
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