Introducing children to rugby: Elite coaches’ perspectives on positive player development.
Thomas, Gethin L.
Wilson, Mark R.
Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise & Health
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
The overall aim of the study was to identify what elite coaches believed were the key components for organized rugby union participation during childhood (7 to 11 years old). . Nine elite male rugby union coaches participated in individual semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke 2006) identified the importance of an age-appropriate competitive games pathway, where more specialized 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; Côté 1999). 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 organized competition could be beneficial to development in these sampling years.
Copyright © 2013 Taylor & Francis
This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise & Health available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/2159676X.2013.819373#.VTYIJp1wbcs
Vol. 6, Iss. 3, pp. 348-365