Introducing children to rugby: elite coaches’ perspectives on positive player development
Thomas, Gethin L.
Wilson, Mark R.
Taylor & Francis
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The overall aim of the study was to identify what elite coaches believed were the key components for organised rugby union participation during childhood (7–11 years old). Nine elite male rugby union coaches participated in individual semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis identified the importance of an age-appropriate competitive games pathway, where more specialised skills were built sequentially on top of the foundations of basic evasion, handling and tackling skills. The findings were generally supportive of the principles of the developmental model of sports participation (DMSP). In particular, elite coaches identified that an emphasis on less-structured games (deliberate play) and early diversification (sampling) were beneficial for player development in the mini rugby years (under 12). However, contrary to a strict interpretation of the DMSP, the coaches also identified that appropriate adult involvement and organised competition could be beneficial to development in these sampling years.
Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health;
Thomas, G.L. and Wilson M.R. (2013) 'Introducing children to rugby: elite coaches’ perspectives on positive player development', Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 6(3), pp.348-365.
This article was published in Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health on 23 June 2013 (online), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2159676X.2013.819373
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