Keywords : unstructured play
European Journal of Molecular & Clinical Medicine,
2020, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 3850-3856
Although the amount and type of practice engaged in to develop elite athletes have been examined substantively in sports literature, few studies have reported on boarding school students. The purpose of this study was to examine the developmental activities of top MARA Junior Science College (MRSM) rugby players. Data on rugby related practice histories and milestones were collected from the semi-finalists (n=48 players) and the bottom four teams (n=48 players) during the MRSM Rugby 7’s competition in 2019 using a retrospective rugby related activities questionnaire. Results showed the players were introduced to the sport only upon enrolling into the institution. Separate Factorial ANOVA 2 groups (top 4 vs bottom 4 teams) x 4 activities (match play, coach led, individual practice, unstructured play) and were analysed for the age range 13 to 15 and 16 to 17 years old. Findings for the 13 to 15 years age range showed a significant group x activity interaction. The top 4 teams engaged in more coach led practice hours (M=564.2 hours, SD=244.7) compared to the bottom 4 teams (M=317.1 hours, SD=206.4). Besides that, the top team players also engaged in more unstructured play (M=209.0, SD=226.3) compared to their unsuccessful counterparts (M=127.8, SD=123.6). Similar result was also reported showed in the 16 to 17 years old range age. The findings showed that successful MRSM rugby players not only engaged more in structured rugby practice sessions and but were involved in unsupervised rugby games as well.