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The biomechanics of place kicking in Rugby Union
Swansea University Author: Neil Bezodis
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Given the applied nature of the challenge of improving rugby place kicking performance, it is important that any research undertaken leads to outcomes of improved practice of coaches and kickers. The approach adopted in this chapter is therefore based around Bishop’s (2008) Applied Research Model fo...
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Given the applied nature of the challenge of improving rugby place kicking performance, it is important that any research undertaken leads to outcomes of improved practice of coaches and kickers. The approach adopted in this chapter is therefore based around Bishop’s (2008) Applied Research Model for the Sport Sciences (ARMSS), which aims to “guide the direction of research required to build our evidence base about how to improve performance” (Bishop, 2008, p. 253). The ARMSS provides a useful framework around which to seek enhanced understanding of, and subsequently the coaching and execution of, rugby place kick technique. Owing to the relative lack of existing research in rugby place kicking, it is imperative that the ARMSS is addressed from its first stage. This stage involves the identification of real-world issues faced by coaches and athletes and requires consideration of any relevant existing literature to determine the current state of the knowledge about rugby place kicking. Early discussions between researchers and coaches are important for the success of such applied research, particularly at this early stage (Bishop, 2008). This will yield a more holistic and applied understanding and it is therefore more likely that potential problems can be clearly defined, allowing relevant research questionsthat will contribute to performance to be formulated. The second stage of the ARMSS, which helps to move research questions forward from this initial understanding, is based on descriptive research. Access to descriptive data from highlevel place kickers can be used to provide valuable insight to inform and direct future research which will extend the evidence base further and ultimately lead to performance improvements.
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