Traditionally, research in the area of drop out has used a qualitative focus, commonly studying aspects such as early specialisation, self-motivation and self-efficacy, and educational ages in relation to drop out.
Research in the area of Rugby Union has generally adopted a quantitative stance, and has looked at injury, elite players, and season long studies with large samples. However as a consequence, in depth qualitative data on the actual experiences and personal feelings of young rugby players that contribute to drop out is limited.
Ten male ex-Rugby Union participants, who were U19 colts players of the same high level English side, were interviewed using semi-structured interviews.
An interpretive framework was adopted in order to analyse the data emerging from the interviews. By using a qualitative approach, the research uncovers more about the multitude of factors that can influence drop out in young individuals. The findings of this study related strongly to Bourdieu's Habitus (1978), and Situated Learning Theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991), and concluded that a number of key themes contributed to drop out. These included injury, disruption to the squad in terms of changes in team personnel, and declining enthusiasm for the sport.
As a consequence of their drop out from Rugby Union, the participants stated that they missed the vibrant social atmosphere, often gained new activities, and commonly experienced feelings of anxiety when returning to the rugby club.
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Reference : Richards, J. (2012). Investigating drop out in ex-junior rugby union players. M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
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