Article Text

Coaches’ attitudes to injury and injury prevention: a qualitative study of Irish field hockey coaches
  1. Huw Rees1,2,
  2. James Matthews1,2,
  3. Ulrik McCarthy Persson1,2,
  4. Eamonn Delahunt1,2,
  5. Colin Boreham1,2,
  6. Catherine Blake1,2
  1. 1School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sport Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2Institute for Sport and Health, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Huw Rees; huw.rees94{at}


Translating injury prevention research into practice has been challenging, which may be due to a poor understanding of the contextual factors influencing the occurrence of injury. Coaches are key figure in sporting environments and hold pivotal roles in preventing injury. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the attitudes of field hockey coaches to injury and injury prevention. Thirteen field hockey coaches from the amateur Irish Hockey League were interviewed. Reflexive thematic analysis led to three general dimensions comprised five higher-order themes, categorised from 16 lower-order themes. Coaches had positive beliefs regarding the benefits of injury prevention over injury management. However, they lacked the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully implement injury prevention strategies with players. Coaches recognised the importance of empowering players to self-manage training loads to promote injury prevention but acknowledged the need to protect younger players from increased loads. Many barriers to injury prevention were not controllable by coaches including fixture congestion and poor structuring of the sport’s domestic calendar. While coaches can play a key role in the implementation of injury prevention strategies, there is also a requirement to examine how system level barriers to injury prevention can be reduced.

  • qualitative
  • field hockey
  • knowledge translation
  • sporting injuries

Data availability statement

No data are available.

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  • Contributors All authors have contributed to the development of this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

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