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"Better people make better players": exploring the role of character in rugby union talent identification

Foan, Nicholas (2021) "Better people make better players": exploring the role of character in rugby union talent identification. Masters thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Character and rugby union are historically linked with governing bodies, stakeholders and media all citing its importance for rugby union performance. Recent years have seen an increase in the prevalence of talent identification programmes in professional sports, rugby union included. However, little is known about the importance of psychological characteristics, less so character in rugby union talent identification. A literature review of psychological components of talent identification was conducted, with a focus on the application to Rugby Union. A more concerted effort needs to be made by researchers to define and differentiate the psychological components clearly to allow for more diverse research methodologies to take place and further the rugby union talent identification literature. To investigate the role character in the talent identification process in rugby union, a qualitative design was used. Interviews were conducted with 9 rugby union talent identification experts which focused on the components of character they valued most in potential professional players. A multidimensional understanding of character was used to analyse the aspects most valuable. No unified understanding of character exists in rugby union. However, it was deemed as especially important by stakeholders especially performance character virtues such as industriousness, resilience, and perseverance. Moral character was second most valued by participants including virtues, self-regulation, self-awareness, and honesty. These findings were then discussed in relation to current practices and further research directions were outlined.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences, School of
Depositing User: Nicholas Foan
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2021 12:48
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2021 12:48
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30642

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