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PSYC 3480 (67)
Chapter 18

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3480
Anneke Olthof

Chapter 18 – Injury and Psychological Recovery  "If you are ever going to achieve as much as you can in a sport, you are going to have to be willing to make a leap of faith to learn how much your body can handle." - Meredith Rainey Valmon  Minor injuries, such as jamming a finger, or turning an ankle, as well as major damages involving broken bones, torn muscles and ligaments, head injuries and concussions can limit participation for days, weeks, and months, or even end sport career  Physical rehabilitation programs offered by physicians, physiotherapists, and athletic trainers considered sufficient to prepare athletes for safe return to competition. However, some athletes not psychologically prepared to return to competition  Sport psychologists joined sport medicine specialists through participation in research, education, and consultation on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral problems related to prevention and recovery from sport injuries Causes of Sport Injuries  Poor conditioning, inadequate warm-up and stretching, flawed biomechanical techniques, overtraining, deficient sports equipment, poor playing surfaces, and violent and unsportsmanlike actions by opponents  Some athletes predisposed to injury because of maturational factors – growth spurts in adolescence can affect back and pelvis The Stress Response  Stress-injury model suggests when upcoming competition assessed, especially one with high stakes, athlete may experience threat and extreme stress  Athlete may perceive that lacks physical, emotional, behavioral, and/or mental resources to meet challenges and demands of situation. As consequence, stress response evoked  Stress response high physiological and attentional responses result in tightening of muscles, narrowing of visual field, and distraction of attention and concentration o Athlete can be vulnerable and more susceptible to injury  Important that psychological and physical training be conducted to spot/minimize situation from developing in first place or, if injury occurred, psychological coping interventions integrated into rehab process  Factors Influencing the Stress Response o Athletes who highly focused under pressure and confidant are less likely to incur injury o Individuals who believe they are in control of lives and competitive situations have fewer injuries than counterparts o High competitive trait anxiety related to possible vulnerability of injury o Previous injury heighten anxiety and distract attention and concentration making athlete more liable to re-injury o Life stressors and everyday pressures are related to illness - stressors compound athletes' effectiveness in dealing with stress response and associated factors that lead to injury vulnerability o Athletes react to injury with wide range of emotions– anger, denial, grief, depression, frustration (broken hopes and dreams, possible isolation from team, embarrassing performance upon return), mood changes, fear of unknown  Negativity and dwelling on past must be challenged and lef
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