Sports Injuries and Stress Management: An Opportunity for Research

in The Sport Psychologist

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James O. DavisSouthwest Missouri State University

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Several studies report that psychological factors, especially stress, are related to sports injuries, and while stress management techniques have often been found to facilitate sport performance, these reports have not included information about the effects of stress intervention on injury rates. This article reexamines two sport psychology programs by investigating the injury data collected by athletic training personnel before, during, and after two university varsity teams practiced progressive relaxation during team workouts. Major findings include a 52% reduction in injuries for swimmers and a 33% reduction in serious injuries for football players. Discussion focuses on methods of injury data collection by sport psychologists, questions about the nature of the stress/injury relationship, and possible interventions.

James O. Davis is with the Psychology Department at Southwest Missouri State University, 901 S. National Ave., Springfield, MO 65804-0095.

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