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Psychological Skills In Rugby Essay

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The International Rugby Board repealed the rules on amateurism after the 1995 Rugby World Cup and as a result rugby became a professional sport (Treasure et al., 2000). Shortly after the 1995 World Cup tournament, Cox and Yoo (1995) stated that success in professional sport is not SRlR SPER, 2006 (Submitted) Sport psychological skills in rugby only dependent on the physical and tactical aspects but that psychological skills also need to be addressed. As a result, Garraway et a]. (2000) pointed out that similar demands were placed on the rugby players' psychological skill levels, as has been the case in other professional sporting codes. Le Roux and Pienaar (2001) as well as Lyons (2001) further noted that sport psychology plays an important…show more content…
Despite this contention, only 2.8% of these players individually consulted a sport psychologist, while only 29.6% perceived their own ability to be psychologically well prepared for competitions as very good. These results suggest a definite need for sport psychological services (67.5% of the players indicated a great need or need for psychological skills training sessions), as it could hold value for performance improvement within the sport. The introduction to sport psychological skills training at the junior and sub-elite levels of sport primarily falls within the responsibility of the coach (Gould et a]., 1999). Within the South African context, however, 84% of teachers who coach at the secondary school level have not received any training in sport psychology (Le Roux & Pienaar, 2001), resulting in players who do not possess sound foundational skills required for optimal performance. In addition to this problem, no information exists on the sport psychological skills of junior rugby players in South Africa. In fact, research into the sport psychological skills of rugby union players in general is very
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