An investigation of swimming coaches’ perceptions on injuries in swimming and their self-reported actions towards injury management and prevention

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Tinneny-Phillips, Amy
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Osteopathy
Unitec Institute of Technology
Moran, Robert
Verhoeff, Wesley
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
New Zealand
overuse injuries
osteopathic medicine
Tinneny-Phillips, A. (2021). An investigation of swimming coaches’ perceptions on injuries in swimming and their self-reported actions towards injury management and prevention. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Osteopathy). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. Retrieved from
BACKGROUND: Swimming is a popular and accessible recreational activity and competitive sport in New Zealand. It is also the foundation of many other recreational activities and sports based in, on, and around water. Due to the high level of training that competitive swimmers partake in, the current literature discusses the injuries that may occur from swimming including swimmers’ shoulder, swimmers’ knee, and back pain. Rehabilitation of swimming injuries is paramount to helping swimmers returning to full training and competing capabilities. AIM: To investigate the perception of swimming coaches regarding swimming injuries and their self-reported actions towards injury management in swimming. METHOD: Five swim coaches from New Zealand were recruited to take part in a series of one-toone interviews. These interviews were then recorded and transcribed. The qualitative approach of interpretive description was used to analyse the data and find key themes from the data. RESULTS: Three key themes were identified from this study 1) coaches’ perceptions of injuries, 2) self -reported actions, 3) communication with health care providers. The participants perception of injuries in swimming mainly focused on an event occurring out of the water, that would then be further aggravated and cause issue for the swimmer when training. There was little perception of injuries occurring directly because of swimming. The participants discussed good management strategies that are in line with guidelines to managing injured athletes. Their actions reported decreasing the frequency and intensity of training sessions, while monitoring the strength and fitness of a swimmer returning to full training. The coaches did not communicate with health care providers directly very often and were more often informed of injuries and rehabilitation progress through the swimmer.
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