COVID-19 Challenges and Associated Impact on the Design of a Coach Education Research Study in Rugby Union: A Research Report.

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Publisher: United States Sports Academy
Document Type: Article
Length: 4,490 words
Lexile Measure: 1640L

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Abstract :

The COVID-19 pandemic posed challenges to many conventional aspects of sport and research with government lockdowns, social-distancing and sanitisation protocols significantly impacting everyday life. The purpose of this report is to outline how a coach education research study in rugby union was adapted, methodologically and procedurally, in response to government health guidelines due to COVID-19, while striving to stay true to the original research design. This design sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a coach education intervention in a practical setting by recording and examining coach's (n = 5) behaviours, inclusive of their perceptions of relationships with the athletes (n = 68) they coach, and vice-versa, pre- and post-intervention. Prior to lockdown, participants had completed the pre-intervention phase and education intervention, leaving the post-intervention observation phase incomplete. To ensure study completion, this phase transferred online to comply with health regulations. Coaches received video footage and behavioural data from their previously recorded sessions as a surrogate for the planned live observations and were instructed to self-assess their performance using a bespoke mobile application designed by the research team. Numerous challenges were faced in continuing the research study, however, the technology-based methodological adaptations highlighted could provide future researchers with agile solutions, should similar unforeseen pandemic-type restrictions return. Key Words: Health & Safety, Coaching Intervention, Coaching Framework, Coach-Athlete Relationship.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A733694995