To Investigate How Aggression Affects Performance in Rugby

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To Investigate How Aggression Affects Performance in Rugby Aggression is the intent to physically, verbally or psychologically harm someone who is motivated is avoid such harm. Baron (1977) defines aggression as the following: "Any behavior directed at the goal of harming or injuring another being who is motivated to avoid such treatment." There are certain types of aggression, some that lie within the rules or laws of the game and others that do not. Hostile or reactive aggression is said to be aggressive acts motivated by anger that have the intent and goal of harming another but also is not with in the rules/laws. An example of this in rugby would be a dangerous tackle above the shoulders/ round the head or neck of the opposition, a spear tackle, were a player is lifted off the ground and dropped head first into the ground also throwing a punch is outside the rules and can result in a sending off or sin bin. Another form of aggression is instrumental aggression, which are aggressive acts that are intended to harm another person with the goal of achieving a goal without suffering.


Tiger (1969) defines sport as being a socially acceptable way of releasing aggression. In that it contains laws and ways of controlling aggression that might course harm. This is evident within rugby, which contains many laws in order to do so. However Baron and Richardson (1994) say that participating in aggressive sports actually increases aggressive tendencies. For example in rugby England and Australia have a great rivalry that can extend past the playing field due to the history of the two nations. There are many causes of aggression one of which is "Frustration" (a feeling of annoyance at being hindered or criticized from/for achieving a goal). In the case of rugby, when the opposition prevent the scoring in other words the inability to reach a goal leads to frustration, frustration then invokes an aggressive drive this can then increase the likelihood of taking part in aggressive behaviors. Figure 2: shows where frustration comes from and leads to. The diagram above shows the beginning of frustration and how this leads to aggressive acts by Donald (1939). This however was revised by Berkowitz as shown below Figure 3: Aggressive acts can also be imitated this is better known as the social learning theory (Bandura 1986).


However, Silva (1979, 1980) suggested that aggression could hinder performance in that attention is focuses away from the task at hand, or arousal has increased past the optimal level Figure 4 shows a diagram of the inverted U theory X Y Y axis = arousal X axis = performance The diagram above shows the inverted U theory, which suggests that there is an optimal performance at a certain time during an exercise and if this optimal arousal level is breeched, due to frustration, or anger towards another player or to highly motivated then performance of the activity or game will decrease. This can then lead to frustration due to the fact the goal has not been reached. It is therefore the job of the coach within the rugby team to find out how to reach and what reaches the optimal arousal of each playing in order to increase teams performance. To conclude aggression can either hinder or if improve performance as long as arousal levels are not breeched. Don't know how I can expand on this conclusion advice please

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