The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effectiveness of a mental skills training (MST) 15 program for youth elite male rugby athletes. Three focus groups were held with 21 Under 16 rugby 16 male athletes and four male coaches involved in the MST program to examine the quality of service 17 delivery, athlete responses to the MST program, the mental qualities utilized by athletes and its 18 perceived influence on athlete performance. Following inductive-deductive content analysis, 40 sub-19 categories and 16 categories emerged. Participants believed the MST program to be an interactive, 20 well-planned program that increased athlete understanding of MST methods and awareness of MST 21 strategies to manage rugby performance. Athletes thought it important that their coaches develop a 22 greater knowledge and understanding of MST methods. Finally, athletes perceived the MST skills 23 and methods they learnt through the MST program were transferable to other sports, and areas of 24 their life outside of rugby (e.g., school).
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 9 Sept 2013|