Managing Psychological Effects on Injured Athletes


This article targets young collegiate and advanced high school students who may one day face the psychological effects on injured athletes. An ineffective rehabilitation program can have a devastating effect on the injured athlete’s future prospects in their chosen sport. Of course, the best countermeasure to athletic injury is not to suffer them in the first place. We say this because of certain driven individuals – or their coaches – want to run the sub-four-minute mile before taking their first ‘baby steps’ in the sport.

Statistically Speaking

Statistics confirm that sports injuries affect participants equally, with both minimal and considerable involvement in exercise and sport. The comparison relates to their physical and psychological conditions before and after sustaining sports injuries, and as the athlete recovery program begins.

Playing Sport Has Risks Attached

Merely participating in sport constitutes a risk of injury, and the most common and frequent sports injuries are ankle-related. Between 2002 and 2006, there were over 3 million ankle injuries from sports activities in the US alone. This implies that many, if not most athletes suffer an injury at one time or another. The more serious injuries and associated rehab often attract potentially lingering consequences. This can affect an athlete’s physical and psychological well-being. Moreover, injury can influence any prospect of ever taking up the sport again.

Presenting a New Field of Science – Sports Psychology

Stress, triggered by a sports injury or accident, remains with an athlete from the moment of the incident on the field, through the rehab program until the time is right to return their sports pursuit. The frustration factor arises not from the severity of the injury, but rather from the insecurity caused by not knowing how much time is involved in the recovery process. This, in turn, leads to uncertainty regarding the extent of change to the normal daily routine in the sporting sense.

Some Tips to Avoid Sports Injuries

Power in sport is nothing without strength. This is the result of force engaging velocity. Power is commonly mistaken for power endurance. Allowing recovery – or rest time -between training sessions enables power to operate optimally.

Movement velocity or speed is the ultimate level in most sports. As strength gained from particular movement increases, velocity also improved as the muscular system strives to reach the next level.

Muscle endurance is how a group of muscles responds to repeat contractions with minimal rest. Cycling flat out for long bursts is a good example. General endurance covers cardiovascular fitness and stamina. Building endurance helps an athlete push the limits.

While you may have strength, without coordination it means little. Balance covers coordination between muscle groups, synchronization, timing, and rhythm. Balance plays a massive role in sports and daily activities.

Flexibility and Mobility are the Ultimate

All great athletes possess tremendous flexibility and mobility, so these two qualities team together as attributes in people that excel in the sport. Put another way, flexibility is the range of motion of a joint that leads to mobility. Adding reactive ability to the formula results in being able to absorb eccentric forces rapidly. Shifting from eccentric to concentric action quickly improves athletic reactive qualities.

Summing Up

Efficiency is the measure of how coordinated any action is. At Activ8, our vision is for beginner athletes to master the basic athletic movement patterns to help develop a solid foundation for each individual. With the solid foundation in place, graduates of the program stand a better chance of avoiding fallout from psychological effects on injured athletes.

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