The aim of this case study was to investigate the emotional factors and coping strategies used by a professional rugby union player during rehabilitation from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. A dominant (qualitative) - less dominant (quantitative) mixed methodological approach was established concurrent with the athlete’s rehabilitation. Twice monthly interviews and a self-report diary were completed throughout the rehabilitation process. Six questionnaires were used to assess specific aspects of injury rehabilitation identified from previous literature, including emotional response, coping, social support, and perceived autonomy. Content analysis of each phase of the rehabilitation process established 34 higher-order themes split into two general dimensions: Influential Emotions or Coping Strategies. Findings highlight the benefit of problem-focused coping to improve autonomy and confidence. A sequential movement through a series of emotions (shock, depression, relief, encouragement, and confidence building) was also identified.
Fraser Carson and Remco C. J. Polman
Adam R. Nicholls, Nicholas L. Holt, and Remco C.J. Polman
The purpose of this study was to examine instances when international agegroup golfers coped effectively and ineffectively with performance-related stressors during competition. Eighteen male Irish international golfers (M age = 17 years) participated in semistructured interviews pertaining to their coping experiences during golf competition. Data were thematically analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003). Strategies associated with effective coping were rationalizing, reappraising, blocking, positive self-talk, following a routine, breathing exercises, physical relaxation, and seeking on-course social support. Alternatively, different types of coping responses (trying too hard, speeding up, routine changes, negative thoughts, lack of coping) were associated with ineffective coping. Theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.
Andrew R. Levy, Remco C.J. Polman, Peter J. Clough, David C. Marchant, and Keith Earle
To investigate the relationship between mental toughness, sport injury beliefs, pain, and adherence toward a sport injury rehabilitation program.
A prospective design was employed that evaluated adherence over the entire rehabilitation period.
70 patients undertaking a sport injury rehabilitation program for a tendonitis related injury.
Main Outcome Measures:
Adherence was measured using self report measures of clinic and home based rehabilitation alongside attendance.
No association was found between mental toughness and coping appraisals, although high mentally tough individuals displayed more positive threat appraisals and were better able to cope with pain than their less mentally tough counterparts. Greater attendance at rehabilitation sessions was displayed by more mentally tough individuals; however, more positive behavior during clinic rehabilitation was characterized by low mental toughness.
Despite the 0benefits of being mentally tough, sports medicine providers need to be aware that a high degree of mental toughness may have negative consequences upon rehabilitation behavior and subsequently recovery outcomes.
Fleur E.C.A. van Rens, Erika Borkoles, Damian Farrow, and Remco C.J. Polman
Using a holistic perspective on athlete talent development, this study examines the impact of role strain on the life satisfaction in various life domains of junior elite Australian Rules Football players. One hundred and twelve talent-identified male Australian Rules Football players (M age = 16.8; SD = .71) completed measures of role strain and multidimensional life satisfaction. The results indicated that role strain explained twelve to twenty-four percent of the variance in life satisfaction in the players’ life domains. Experiences of role strain related to the players’ dual careers were associated with decreased life satisfaction in sport, friendships, family, yourself, and global life satisfaction domains. Situations in which the players perceived that their abilities were underutilized were also negatively associated with life satisfaction across various life domains. This study thus evidences the importance of a domain specific, holistic approach to investigate the life satisfaction in junior athletes’ dual careers.
Theocharis Ispoglou, Roderick F.G.J. King, Remco C.J. Polman, and Cathy Zanker
To investigate the effects of daily oral L-leucine ingestion on strength, bone mineral-free lean tissue mass (LTM) and fat mass (FM) of free living humans during a 12-wk resistance-training program.
Twenty-six initially untrained men (n = 13 per group) ingested either 4 g/d of L-leucine (leucine group: age 28.5 ± 8.2 y, body mass index 24.9 ± 4.2 kg/m2) or a corresponding amount of lactose (placebo group: age 28.2 ± 7.3 y, body mass index 24.9 ± 4.2 kg/m2). All participants trained under supervision twice per week following a prescribed resistance training program using eight standard exercise machines. Testing took place at baseline and at the end of the supplementation period. Strength on each exercise was assessed by fve repetition maximum (5-RM), and body composition was assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
The leucine group demonstrated significantly higher gains in total 5-RM strength (sum of 5-RM in eight exercises) and 5-RM strength in five out of the eight exercises (P < .05). The percentage total 5-RM strength gains were 40.8% (± 7.8) and 31.0% (± 4.6) for the leucine and placebo groups respectively. Significant differences did not exist between groups in either total percentage LTM gains or total percentage FM losses (LTM: 2.9% ± 2.5 vs 2.0% ± 2.1, FM: 1.6% ± 15.6 vs 1.1% ± 7.6).
These results suggest that 4 g/d of L-leucine supplementation may be used as a nutritional supplement to enhance strength performance during a 12-week resistance training program of initially untrained male participants.
Adam R. Nicholls, Jim McKenna, Remco C.J. Polman, and Susan H. Backhouse
The aim of this study was to explore the perceived factors that contribute to stress and negative affective states during preseason among a sample of professional rugby union players. The participants were 12 male professional rugby union players between 18 and 21 years of age (M age = 19 years, SD = 0.85). Data were collected via semistructured interviews and analyzed using an inductive content analysis procedure. Players identified training (structure and volume), the number of matches played and the recovery period, diet, sleep, and travel as factors that they believed contributed to their experience of stress and negative affective states. The present findings suggest that players may require more time to recover between matches, alongside interventions to help players manage the symptoms of stress and negative affect during times in which players are overtraining.
Adam R. Nicholls, Nicholas L. Holt, Remco C.J. Polman, and Jonny Bloomfield
The overall purpose of this study was to examine stressors, coping strategies, and perceived coping effectiveness among professional rugby union players. Eight first class professional male rugby union players maintained diaries over a 28-day period. The diaries included a stressor checklist, an open-ended coping response section, and a Likert-type scale evaluation of coping effectiveness. Total reported stressors and coping strategies were tallied and analyzed longitudinally. The most frequently cited stressors were injury concerns, mental errors, and physical errors. The most frequently cited coping strategies were increased concentration, blocking, positive reappraisal, and being focused on the task. The most effective coping strategies were focusing on task and increasing effort. Professional rugby players use a variety of different coping strategies in order to manage the stressors they experience, but the effectiveness of their coping attempts can vary.
Christos K. Argus, James R. Broatch, Aaron C. Petersen, Remco Polman, David J. Bishop, and Shona Halson
An athlete’s ability to recover quickly is important when there is limited time between training and competition. As such, recovery strategies are commonly used to expedite the recovery process.
To determine the effectiveness of both cold-water immersion (CWI) and contrast water therapy (CWT) compared with control on short-term recovery (<4 h) after a single full-body resistance-training session.
Thirteen men (age 26 ± 5 y, weight 79 ± 7 kg, height 177 ± 5 cm) were assessed for perceptual (fatigue and soreness) and performance measures (maximal voluntary isometric contraction [MVC] of the knee extensors, weighted and unweighted countermovement jumps) before and immediately after the training session. Subjects then completed 1 of three 14-min recovery strategies (CWI, CWT, or passive sitting [CON]), with the perceptual and performance measures reassessed immediately, 2 h, and 4 h postrecovery.
Peak torque during MVC and jump performance were significantly decreased (P < .05) after the resistance-training session and remained depressed for at least 4 h postrecovery in all conditions. Neither CWI nor CWT had any effect on perceptual or performance measures over the 4-h recovery period.
CWI and CWT did not improve short-term (<4-h) recovery after a conventional resistance-training session.