A survey of South African provincial netball coaches\' opinions, abilities and limitations regarding mental skills training
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 thereof.
Keywords: Coaches; Mental Skills Training; Netball.
South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation Vol. 29 (2) 2007: pp. 27-40