Essay Example on Critical discussion of the injury process drawing on relative Literature









This essay will include a critical discussion of the injury process drawing on relative literature around the key issues or problems athletes face when returning to sport Followed by an exploration of sources of belief efficacy expectations and sources of confidence Finally two different intervention strategies which can be used in the return to competitive sport phase will be considered The Injury Process An injury is generally a distressing event where emotional and psychological reactions are produced These reactions are established by the individual's perceptions of loss Mcdonald Hardy 1990 The psychological responses to the injury can differ due to factors such as pain and limitation of movement ability to perform day to day tasks and the time that the athlete is not able to participate in sport Levy et al 2009 According to Evans et al 2000 there are three stages of recovery within the injury process 

The first stage injury onset occurs as soon as the athlete becomes injured during this phase the athlete can experience a range of cognitive emotional and behavioural experiences including depression lack of understanding of the injury process loss of functional ability confusion and frustration Tracey 2003 Even though this first stage of the process is short lived athletes are faced with some of the most intense emotions Gallagher Gardner 2007 The second stage is rehabilitation and this starts when the athlete receives treatment for their injury Within this period the athlete will face the greatest amount of challenges in order to advance recovery and successfully return to sport Evans et al 2000 Challenges such as lack of mobility isolation and slowness of progress or setbacks are present In order for the quality and duration of the rehabilitation programme to be made more positive motivation goal setting and the individuals attitude to adherence need to be present 

This will allow the process to become more usual controllable and predictable Weiss and Troxel 1986 The final stage is return to sport here the athletes are starting to continue their normal routine and competitively train and play again Research that has investigated athlete s return to competitive sport have found that needs and reactions from individuals during this stage were diverse and complex Anderson 2001 One of the main themes found by Evans et al 2000 within the return to sport phase was re injury anxiety Research conducted by Bianco 2001 found that a group of skiers all recovering from injury had to manage serious concerns of re injury A number of stressors precede re injury anxiety and these are the physical pressures of competition and full training a lack of confidence in the injured limb performing the skill or repeating the experience in which the injury occurred Cox 2002 Re injury anxiety during the athlete's training or competition can have a negative impact on their sporting performance and increase the risk of re injury this is because the athlete could be trying to hard or overcompensating in other areas of training questioning their psychological preparedness to return and giving decreased effort Evans et al 2000 Further research has been found with regards to the decision to return to sport for example the athlete can be physically ready to return but still not be psychologically ready Crossman 1997 A model created by Taylor and Taylor 1997 in order to support the return to sport contains five physical and psychological stages these include initial return recovery confirmation return of physical and technical abilities high intensity training and return to competition All stages must be passed and it can be helpful for coaches and athletes to create a smoother development from rehabilitation to competitive sport Podlog Eklund 2007 However criticisms were found within this model by Podlog and Eklund 2007 they explained that individual athlete differences are not accounted for A number of factors can affect the psychological readiness of the athlete feelings of disengagement and isolation can be present negative social comparison re injury anxiety competitive anxiety match game fitness reduced sport confidence and low levels of emotional informational and esteem support Evans Wadey 2011 

Sources of Confidence Self confidence levels have been found to affect rehabilitation this is because a decrease in an athlete s self confidence self efficacy can be one of the biggest barriers to an effective return to sport following injury Magyar Duda 2000 Self efficacy is a person s perceived capability to execute a certain level of performance and can be described as situational specific self confidence Feltz Short Sullivan 2008 In order for the athlete to return to sport after rehabilitation confidence must be restored Bandura 1990 described this as the process of efficacy restoration Within his work Bandura 1997 identified four primary sources of information these were performance accomplishments vicarious experience verbal persuasion and emotional arousal These sources were identified as efficacy expectations and they control if one will begin coping behaviour the degree of effort that they will convey and the amount of time they will sustain the behaviour Bandura 1977 The most significant source that enhanced individual self efficacy was performance accomplishments these are based on own mastery experiences Repeated success developed a sound mastery experience where occasional failure would have a decreased negative affect on self efficacy Bandura 1997

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