The occurrence of overtraining-related symptoms among under-21 rugby players

  • G.P. Van Zyl
  • A.J.J. Lombard


The aim of this study was to investigate the manifestation of overtraining-related symptoms among U-21 rugby players, and to gain insight into the detection and prevention thereof. The methodology consisted of a self-constructed questionnaire, which focused on the gathering of psychological, health and biological-related data. The questionnaires were completed in August 2000, towards the end of the rugby season. The sample consisted of 51 RAU U-21 rugby players competing in the Gauteng GLRU regional U-21 league. The sample comprised 14 tight forwards, 9 loose forwards and 28 back line players. The frequency of the reported overtraining-related symptoms was relatively high. Npar tests show no significant correlation between the total number of symptoms experienced during the season, the amount of strenuous training sessions and the different playing positions. Independent sample t-tests confirmed correlations between the intensity of the reported psychological, biological and health-related symptoms, and a merit of other factors including hydration, academic schedules, family problems, financial difficulties and exposure to extreme training conditions. In summary, overtraining is a multifaceted phenomenon that manifests in the physical (biological and health) and psychological domains. Specific variables from each domain define markers that can be used for the optimisation of performance, health and psychological well-being of the rugby player.
Key words: Over-training symptoms, rugby players, health.

(Af. J. Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance: 2003 Special Edition: 136-147)

Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 2411-6939