AN INVESTIGATION INTO ELITE AND NON-ELITE WOMEN RUGBY PLAYERS PERCEPTIONS OF DIFFERENT COACHING METHODS
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Previous research has aimed to explore student perceptions of teaching styles in physical education lessons but no work has yet been done on the perceptions of athletes in specific sporting contexts. The purpose of this thesis was to investigate women rugby player’s perceptions of Kirk, Nauright, Hanrahan, Macdonald and Jobling’s (1996) coaching methods and to explore player ability as a contributing factor in the formation of these perceptions. 9 elite women rugby players and 8 non-elite women rugby players were interviewed in semi-structured focus groups to gather information on their opinions and preferences in relation to the coaching methods and the reasons underpinning them. Using qualitative data analysis, inductive coding was used to code the responses of the groups and themes were compared and discussed In light of the previous student perception literature. It was found that the two ability groups had formed different perceptions of the coaching methods. Whilst the elite group favoured coaching methods from the productive cluster of teaching styles, the non-elite group favoured coaching methods from the reproductive cluster. It was suggested from the responses that this was due to their differing learning outcomes between the two ability groups and initial level of skill, knowledge and understanding. This information is useful to coaches trying to teach women rugby players as a better understanding of athlete perceptions of coaching methods can help a teacher "better reach students’ preferred learning styles" (Cothran, Kulinna and Ward, 2000) and increase levels of enjoyment, learning and motivation.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
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