Effect of a skills specific coaching education programme on the skill level of mini-rugby players
It is essential to design age-appropriate activities and practices to develop youth rugby players optimally. The current study aimed to determine the effect of a skills specific coaching education programme on the skill level of mini-rugby players in the Western Province Rugby Union. The participants of this study consisted of coaches (N=6) and players (N=181) from different primary schools in Cape Town, Western Cape Province, South Africa. The schools were selected based on the minirugby structure at the schools, to ensure a uniform environment between the experimental and control groups. Two of the four schools were randomly allocated to the experimental group (n=84) and the other two schools were randomly allocated to the control group (n=97). After being exposed to the 16-week skills programme, the experimental group, when compared to the control group, showed significant improvements (p<0.05) in five of the six skills (passing, catching, picking up the ball, tackling and taking the ball into contact). Although the control group improved in three of the skills, the improvements were not significant (p>0.05). A major finding of this study was that the skills specific coaching education programme significantly improved the skill level of the players.
Keywords: Mini-rugby; Skill development; Skill assessment; Key factor analysis; Skills coaching; Coaching education.