This paper explores the psychosocial concerns that injured athletes experience and their consequences by focusing on some of the intervention strategies instituted to mitigate the uncertainties. Research in this area is still in its infancy…
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This paper illustrates that sport injury is one of the noteworthy causes of stress that has touching, cognitive and behavioral insinuation for any given athlete. This area has seen an increase in interest of research to determine the role of some psychosocial variables that are mostly affected, in an athlete’s life, and career following an injury. This is because some evidences point to psychosocial concerns as obstacles to a successful entry of athletes into athletics after an injury. These psychosocial concerns that lead to this condition include the anxieties associated with fear of a re-injury and those fears associated with failure to go back to the form before the injury. In addition to this, the feelings of segregation especially from the coaches and teammates, lack of athletic identity and reduced social support also derail athletes during their recovery. Despite the fact that athletic injury is just but a physical event, it is sure to cause much distress in an athlete’s life and career. According to Wady and Evans a holistic recovery from injury requires that both the physical and psychosocial variables should be dealt with accordingly. This is because not only do the athletes suffer from these fears of returning to the old past but also the uncertainties that are associated with this return. Investigations carried out have determined that athletes are usually overwhelmed by injury concerns when nearing the return to sport after physically recovering. However, it has been established that research in this area is still in its infancy, although, re-injury anxieties in part hinder the return of athletes into competitive athletics. In any case, Podlog et al (2011, 37) argues that the anxiety may also increase the chances of actual re-injury. A proposed stress injury model posits that when in a stressful condition, muscular failure and reduced timing and coordination of an athlete is likely to occur due to the evaluation of the threat. In addition, the athlete’s awareness of the threat is likely to limit the peripheral vision and subsequent disruptions in the athlete’s attention that increases the risk of re-injury. The probability of this re-injury is also increased when the athletes have few resources that can be employed in coping and elevating levels of anxiety. These anxieties coupled with injury are also to blame for the post injury performances that are affected negatively. A compelling example is the finding on National football league (NFL) players whose performance reduced after returning to sports following a knee injury. This were observed in the running backs and wide receivers who demonstrated a 33% drop in the activities of rushing and receiving yards, as well as touchdowns after return to sports (Podlog et al, 2011, 37). Pod lag et al (2011, 37) argues this might not be because of the loss of strength or reconditioning but the re-injury anxieties that had affected the attention on the focusing of athletes thus leading to a sense of indecision. Inability to go back to the competitive old self This concern may arise, from the inability of the athlete, to perform the skills in the specific sport thus resulting into loss of physical fitness. This is also fueled by the fact that during this time the athlete was being rehabilitated from physical injury, the other athletes were working on their competitive skills. The time this is most severe for returning athletes is unclear, but some researches carried out determined that these uncertainties dissolve within the first six months after a return to sport (Podlog, et al, 2010, 38). Therefore, this highlights the importance of counting on the physical skills of athletes to rate
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