Exposing athletes to playing form activity: outcomes of a randomised control trial among community netball teams using a game-centred approach Academic Article uri icon


  • This study evaluated whether exposing junior netball players to greater amounts of competition relevant activity (playing form activity) had an effect on game play outcomes and session involvement. A group-randomised controlled trial in one junior netball club in the Hunter Region, NSW, Australia. Ninety female athletes (mean age = 9.04 years, SD 1.53) were randomised by team (n = 11) into the intervention (n = 41) or 9-week wait-list control (n = 49) condition. The Professional Learning for Understanding Games Education into Sport (PLUNGE into Sport) programme was undertaken in the first half of nine training sessions (9 × 30 min). The intervention exposed athletes to playing form activity through a coach development programme within training sessions. Athletes' decision-making, support and skill outcomes during a small-sided invasion game, and session involvement (pedometer step/min), were measured at baseline and 9-week follow-up. Linear mixed models revealed significant group-by-time intervention effects (P < 0.05) for decision-making (d = 0.4) and support (d = 0.5) during game play, and in-session activity (d = 1.2). An intervention exposing athletes to greater levels of playing form activity, delivered via a coach education programme, was efficacious in improving athlete decision-making and support skills in game play and increasing athlete involvement during sessions.


publication date

  • 2017