This section of the resource aims to create evidence informed coaching activities that promote confidence, physical competence and safety in the contact area.
The activities are grouped into the following areas:
- mobility, rolling, falling and landing
- deep neck stabilisation
- neck strengthening
- head reaction.
The activities have been identified as important in mitigating against injury and they are especially important in the women’s game where the injury mechanisms for concussion are different to the men’s game (more head to ground and uncontrolled whiplash impacts) and rates are higher. On average, evidence suggests neck strength in female rugby players is 47% lower than in males [Ref. NZR CMP Community Concussion Rates and Williams et al (2021)] however, the impact of this difference can be reduced using appropriate evidence informed coaching activities that promote confidence, physical competence and safety in the contact area.
An example of these mechanisms of injury is shown below.
Blue number 13
The activities have been developed by experts in the field of concussion mitigation, strength and conditioning, combat sports, falling/landing and rugby coaching. They should be incorporated within training sessions and can also be conducted at home.
They are fun, progressive, rugby related, and are appropriate for all ages and genders. Many of them can be delivered or enhanced through games. Each of the activities has Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the players and coaches to focus on when conducting the activity.
The activities are structured into four groups.
Coaches should incorporate one or two activities from each group into their sessions in a progressive manner, as part of the warm-up or as preparation for contact skills during the main body of the session.