Sports injury is a common phenomenon among athletes since most experience an injury during their sports participation. An injury can be one of the worst experiences for an athlete as it can mean several different things to an athlete besides the physical pain they experience.
More specifically, injury is: “trauma to the body that results in at least temporary (but sometimes permanent) physical disability and inhibition of motor function” (Weinberg & Gould, 2019).
Emotional Reaction to Injury is:
Anger (suppression of emotion eventually results in lashing out)
Helplessness(Refusaltodiscloseemotions in case perceived as a sign of weakness)
Frustration(Pain, injury, prognosis, timing, financial concerns)
Under which circumstances can an injury be caused?
Different reasons can cause an injury. It might be caused by physical factors, such as musculoskeletal anomaly, previous injury, poor field condition, over-training, terrible weather conditions. Also, match and training conditions can cause damage and the time of participation and the sports mechanism. Finally, psychosocial factors, namely lack of confidence, stress, negative thoughts/mood (intenseness, depression, anger, fatigue), can also cause an injury.
As a result, an injury produces an immediate imbalance in an athlete’s life, for it can bring many psychological changes. Injuries affect the athlete’s self-confidence self-esteem and can also become connected to fear, anger, sadness, isolation, intenseness, anxiety, and lack of concentration.
How can we help athletes cope with their injuries and manage their psychological changes?
Sports Psychology can contribute to injury rehabilitation in several ways. How?
A Sports Psychologist can aid athletes to deal effectively with their injuries by helping them with their injury process. A sports psychologist assists the athlete by providing emotional support for accepting and understanding the injury. Furthermore, by building trust and rapport with the injured athlete, a sports psychologist can inform the athlete about the nature of his injury, the treatment goals, and the details of his restoration incorporation of the medical staff.
Finally, the Sport Psychologist can teach the athlete how to use the primary mental skills, which can help him adjust to the restoration process, manage his pain, reduce stress and anxiety, and increasing his self-esteem. These skills are goal setting, relaxation, imagery, and positive self-talk. Visualization is an important skill that every athlete must use during rehabilitation time. Many studies have shown that the usage of this technique can help athletes go back to training earlier and be more ready.
These skills can also enhance performance daily, as psychological and emotional support are very important for injured athletes, trainers, teammates, family, and friends.
Social support can help injured athletes endure difficult times and accept a comprehensive rehabilitation program. Undoubtedly, social support is critical since it can help athletes establish
An injury can happen under many different circumstances. A comprehensive rehabilitation program, which includes social-emotional support and medical and psychological support, can help the athlete cope with his and team physicians fully return to his previous condition. Coaches and team physicians must consider the mental and physical factors while treating and coordinating care for injured athletes. Finally, every athlete needs to use the main psychological skills that can prevent the likelihood of an injury.
MSc Sport Psychology