In this study, we explored mental toughness, injury response, and coping among female athletes in roller derby (n = 68) and collegiate rugby (n = 122). Participants completed a survey with measures of mental toughness, hardiness, optimism, coping with injury and psychological response to injury, as well as questions regarding injury status. Injured roller derby players had a more negative response to injury than injured rugby players, but did not differ on mental toughness. Mental toughness was related to approach styles of coping and negatively related to adverse psychological responses to injury. Rugby players who would play through injury reported higher mental toughness than those who would not play through injury; however, the reverse was found for roller derby players. Mental toughness is related to adaptive coping and positive injury response, but also to engaging in activity when injured, with potential detrimental effects.
The Role of Mental Toughness in Coping and Injury Response in Female Roller Derby and Rugby Athletes
Leilani Madrigal, Katherine Wurst, and Diane L. Gill
A Pilot Study Investigating the Reasons for Playing Through Pain and Injury: Emerging Themes in Men’s and Women’s Collegiate Rugby
Leilani Madrigal, Jamie Robbins, Diane L. Gill, and Katherine Wurst
Collegiate rugby is a competitive, collision sport, yet insufficient empirical evidence exists regarding participants’ perspectives on pain and injury. This study addressed male and female rugby players’ experiences with injury, and their views about playing through pain and injury. Eleven rugby players (five male; six female) competing in USA Rugby’s National College 7’s tournament participated in semistructured interviews, which were recorded, transcribed, and content-analyzed. Two major themes emerged: passion for sport and sport ethic. Passion for sport was composed of (a) love of the sport, (b) meaning of the sport, and (c) desire to be on the field. Sport ethic included: (a) helping the team, (b) game time sacrifice, (c) personality, (d) minimize, and (e) accepted behavior. The researchers explain these findings and propose strategies for increasing future athletes’ understanding of the dangers associated with playing through pain, and confronting the currently accepted culture of risk.