South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation

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A survey of South African provincial netball coaches\' opinions, abilities and limitations regarding mental skills training

H W Grobbelaar


The purpose of the study was to determine the current situation regarding the
implementation of mental skills training (MST) programmes by netball coaches. A
total of 265 South African provincial netball players from 28 teams and their
respective coaches (n=28) participated in the study. Despite the fact that 89.90%
of the coaches regard MST as very important, only 46.43% implemented MST
programmes themselves or made use of sport psychologists. In addition to this just
more than half (55.56%) of the players are psychologically well prepared for
competitions (according to their coaches), with the rest (44.44%) showing average
or below average preparation. Among the coaches who implemented MST
programmes goal-setting, self-confidence and concentration skills were the most
frequently implemented skills. Financial limitations, unavailability of sport
psychologists and a lack of knowledge were reported as the most prolific reasons
for not implementing MST programmes. An evaluation by the players of their
coaches ability to implement certain mental skills as part of MST programmes
revealed the coaches' ability to foster team cohesion, enhance self-confidence and
commitment, set goals and conduct post-match performance analysis as their best
attributes. The opinions, abilities and limitations regarding MST, necessitate
further coach education regarding MST programmes and the implementation

Keywords: Coaches; Mental Skills Training; Netball.

South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 29 (2) 2007: pp. 27-40

AJOL African Journals Online