The perceptions and understanding of Cardiff Metropolitan University female hockey players for participating in strength and conditioning
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study investigated the perceptions and understanding of female university hockey players on strength and conditioning (S&C) training. Brewer (2008) understands that strength, power, speed and endurance are some of the basic components essential for success in team sports such as hockey, all of which can be developed through S&C. It is important however, for athletes to rationalise and understand this training modality in order to engage in the session fully and produce the desired benefits, as previous research has acknowledged that S&C is often mistaken by female athletes to be solely about increasing strength and creating “bulky” muscles. Therefore the rationale for this study was to examine how much knowledge the hockey players held about S&C in order to establish if further education is required by coaches and professionals. The participants were six female hockey players from the university team. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with each participant. The key topics covered within the interview to comprehend the different elements that may affect perception were commitment and motivation to training, benefits to hockey performance, body image concerns and an overall knowledge and understanding of S&C. The results revealed that the older and more experienced players were more committed and held a more positive attitude towards the training compared to the players that had just joined the team. Furthermore, the results suggested that more understanding of the training modality, created an increased awareness of the enhancements to strength and power in relation to hockey that S&C could have. These findings have valuable implications for S&C coaches, indicating the importance for the coach to communicate with the athletes, to educate them on the rationales and objectives behind the training. Implementing educational factors into the sessions could perhaps provide athletes with a better perception of the reasoning and benefits that S&C can add to performance, and potentially increase motivation and adherence by female athletes to S&C sessions.
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