Hibbert, Amy Sorcha (2010)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Traditionally, efforts to improve performance in team sports have focused on technique and tactics at the expense of physical fitness (Stolen et al, 2005; and Reverter-Masia et al, 2008). However, with renewed vigour on enhancing performance in sport at all levels, several avenues within the realm of sport science are being utilised to facilitate this process. One of these avenues is strength and conditioning. The main objective of this mode of sport support is to maximise an athlete’s physical performance whilst seeking to prevent injuries (Hunter & Harris, 2008; and Dorgo, 2009). Within England, little is known about how strength and conditioning is used within non-professional team sports such as field hockey. This study therefore takes residence within a men’s Premiership hockey club. 18 male players from a Premiership hockey team in England were selected, and all players completed both a training diary form and a semi-structured interview. An interpretive framework was adopted in order to analyse the data that emerged. Through a qualitative approach, the study reveals more about the role strength and conditioning plays within one of the top men’s hockey teams in England. The findings of this study establish a typology of four different player groupings (Majors, Make-its, Masters, Minors) relating to each player’s understanding of, influences towards, and support within strength and conditioning.
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