Key findings of rugby coach survey revealed

02 March 2015

A UC research project has explored the different visions among rugby coaches from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and investigated how they foster players.

A University of Canterbury research project has explored the different visions among rugby coaches from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand and investigated how they foster players, succeed in coaching and develop values among their players.

Sports and physical education doctoral student Rémy Hassanin has carried out comparative research, supervised by the University of Canterbury’s Professor Richard Light.

Hassanin helped write sections of the book, Advances in rugby coaching: An Holistic Approach, which was authored by Professor Light. All Black Kieran Read was guest speaker at the launch on campus last night.

Hassanin says his study showed that New Zealand coaches felt they cared about their players, both on and off the field. They viewed them as people and rugby players.

“The Australians felt that they needed to empower the players to think for themselves. They saw themselves as teachers who were personable yet responsible for setting the direction of the team.

The New Zealanders and Australians were similar in this regard.

“However, the South African coaches felt they needed to be strong leaders. They established a position of authority and felt, more importantly, that they needed to be respected, not liked, by the players.

“The New Zealanders believed that coaching required many different hats and often referred to good cop - bad cop scenarios. While they viewed their relationships and players as equals, they clearly set boundaries to be effective leaders.

“Also specific to New Zealand, was the importance placed on rituals such as the pre- and post-game processes and more importantly fostering a belonging as a club and at the clubhouse.

“The Australians viewed themselves as man-managers, selling their ideas to the players which results in more managerial attitudes to the practice of coaching.

“The South Africans felt that harnessing respect and instilling discipline was the most important role of the coach. Due to professionalism, club rugby is bypassed in South Africa as a potential pathway to higher representative honours. As a result, they felt that players who were subservient and loyal to the coach and club would be more successful.

“Up until 1995, rugby held onto, often covertly, its amateur ethos. However, this ethos has been shaped by the cultural context to suit local conditions such as the rural myth and its attachment to New Zealand rugby traditions.”

 

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications 
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz