Adoption of injury prevention exercise programmes (IPEPs) in team sports is contingent on behaviour change among coaches. The aim was to study motivation and goal-pursuit in IPEP use among coaches of amateur football players.
A cross-sectional study using web-based questionnaires was administered to coaches in one Swedish regional football district. The study was carried out one season after dissemination of the IPEP Knee Control+. The questionnaire was based on the Health Action Process Approach and covered perceptions and beliefs about using Knee Control+. Questions were rated on 1–7 Likert scales.
440 coaches participated (response rate 32%). Coaches were neutral about injury risks (median 4–5) and knowledge about preventing injuries (median 5) but had positive outcome expectancies of preventive training (median 6). Coaches who had used an IPEP perceived they had more knowledge about preventing injuries than non-users (median 5 vs 4, small effect size d=0.43). Coaches who used Knee Control+ were positive about their practical ability to use it (median 6) and had high intention to prioritise continuous use (median 7). Highly adherent coaches to higher extent believed that specific training may prevent injuries and had plans for how to instruct the players and how to work around barriers compared with low adherent coaches.
Coaches need more knowledge and support on IPEP usage and how to structure training. Coaches who had adopted Knee Control+ had high belief in their abilities but may need constructive plans on how to use the programme and to overcome barriers.