New research has revealed New Zealand secondary schools are failing to teach rugby players valuable social and mental skills.
Research carried out by the University of Canterbury’s Dr Blake Bennett found the focus on technicalities sacrifices what otherwise makes the sport worthwhile for young males.
Bennett’s study looked into both New Zealand and Japanese programs and he discovered significant differences.
New Zealand coaches focused intently on “skill development and discipline,” while Japanese coaches spoke of “character development, tenacity, and a range of social benefits.”
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Blake remarked that few New Zealand coaches showed interest in adjusting their training schedules for the sake of empowerment.
Japanese training sessions were structured upon “sieshin,” an ideology which promotes the strengthening of the mind through physical activity. Coaches hoped the result would be a determined approach to hard work.
The chief executive of College Sport Auckland, Dave Currie, argues the study is looking too far into the purpose of sport. From what he recalls, the most noteworthy benefit of school sport, aside from keeping an individual active, was to make friends.