Tackle technique knowledge alone does not translate to proper tackle technique execution in training

BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2021 Mar 17;7(1):e001011. doi: 10.1136/bmjsem-2020-001011. eCollection 2021.


OBJECTIVES: Effective tackle technique is associated with reduced injury risks and improved performance in contact. Injury prevention programmes aim to provide players with knowledge of effective technique. However, little is known of the impact of this knowledge on a player’s technique in the tackle. This study aimed to determine the association between knowledge of proper tackle technique and tackle technique proficiency in training.

METHODS: Fifty-three rugby union players participated in a tackle contact drill and, thereafter, completed a questionnaire. The drill was filmed, and the players’ tackle and ball-carry technique were assessed using standardised technical proficiency. In the questionnaire, the players were asked to rate the importance of each tackle and ball-carry technique on a 5-point Likert scale, for both injury prevention and performance tackle outcomes. Linear regression was performed to assess the relationship between the knowledge of the importance of proper tackle technique and tackle technique proficiency during the drill.

RESULTS: No association was found between players’ knowledge of the importance of proper technique and tackle contact technique in training for both injury prevention and performance.

CONCLUSION: The lack of association between players’ knowledge and actual tackle contact technique reveals the gap between the knowledge of safe and effective techniques and the knowledge of how to execute the said techniques.

PMID:33791105 | PMC:PMC7978094 | DOI:10.1136/bmjsem-2020-001011