Sports injuries in the adolescent are becoming more frequent as more athletes participate in sporting activity, and sport is the leading cause of injury in the adolescent. Appropriate physical conditioning of the adolescent which includes a warm-up session, endurance training, strengthening exercises and balance training have shown to reduce the rate of injury during pre-season and in-season training. The aim of this study was to establish the current knowledge of athletic coaches in the Johannesburg-North Education District, in the physical conditioning of high-school middle- and long-distance runners. There was no validated questionnaire available to complete this study, so a questionnaire was designed based on the most recent evidence regarding each item. Athletic coaches at each school were selected based on the following inclusion criteria: that they worked at high schools and/or secondary schools whose students participated in middle and long distance running, that they spoke and understood English, that they worked at private and/or public schools, and that they were either gender. There were 33 high schools in the Johannesburg-North Education District that completed the survey out of a possible 42 high schools, a response rate of 78 per cent. Following the statistical analysis of the results, it was found that the questionnaire had an internal consistency (reliability co-efficient) of 0.92. The coaches scored on average 67 per cent for the questionnaire, showing that they had a good knowledge of the physical conditioning concepts. The only significant relationship found was between the coaches’ scores for the use of balance and proprioceptive exercises and age. In conclusion it was found that coaches in both public and private schools have correct physical conditioning knowledge with regards to high school middle and long distance runners. Recommendations are made with regards to future policy, and the researcher suggests that future studies should involve testing the coaches’ practical application of their knowledge.
Dissertation (MPhysT)--University of Pretoria, 2013.