Background The tackle event in rugby is a technical and physical contest between opposing players.
A player's ability to tolerate and contest during a tackle is a prerequisite for safe participation and success in rugby. The attitude and behaviour of players towards safety have been identified as risk factors for injury. How a skill is coached may influence the player's attitude and actions when executing the skill in training and match play.
Objective The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between tackle coaching methods and players' tackle training attitudes and behaviours.
Design Cross-sectional Survey.
Setting High Schools.
Participants 164 Under-19 rugby male players.
Assessment of Risk Factors Questionnaire using a 5-point Likert scale for importance (attitude), quantity (behaviour) and frequency (behaviour).
Main Outcome Measurements Associations between tackle coaching methods and players' tackle training attitudes and behaviours using the χ2 test and Cramer's V.
Results The more time spent on coaching proper technique to prevent injuries, the higher players rated the importance of injury prevention (28% somewhat important-very important, χ2 (16)=29.13, p<0.05, Cramer's V=0.21, moderate). Verbal instruction from the coach, whether to the individual player (29% somewhat important-very important, χ2 (16)=30.41, p<0.05, Cramer's V=0.22, moderate) or team (34% somewhat important-very important, χ2 (16)=34.04, p<0.01, Cramer's V=0.23, moderate) was positively associated with how important players rated injury prevention.
Conclusions This is the first study to report on the relationship between tackle coaching methods and players' tackle training attitudes and behaviours. When coaches offered verbal instruction and spent more time coaching proper technique to prevent injuries, players tended to have a more positive attitude toward injury prevention when training the tackle.
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