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Leslie Podlog and Robert C. Eklund

Context:

It is argued in self-determination theory that the motivation underlying behavior has implications for health and well-being independent of the behavior itself.

Objective:

To examine associations between athlete motivations for returning to sport after injury and perceived psychological return-to-sport outcomes.

Design:

A correlational survey design was employed to obtain data in Canada, Australia, and England.

Participants:

Elite and subelite athletes (N = 180) with injuries requiring a minimum 2-month absence from sport participation.

Main Outcome Measures:

Participants completed an inventory measuring perceptions of motivation to return to sport from a serious injury and psychological return-to-sport outcomes.

Results:

Correlational analyses revealed that intrinsic motivations for returning to competition were associated with a positive renewed perspective on sport participation. Conversely, extrinsic motivations for returning to sport were associated with increased worry and concern.

Conclusions:

The motivation underlying return to sport might play an important role in return-to-sport perceptions among elite and subelite athletes.

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Melissa Mae Iñigo, Leslie Podlog and Morgan S. Hall

The purpose of this study was to examine athletes’ sources of commitment to return to sport following a severe injury using the Sport Commitment Model (Scanlan, Carpenter, Schmidt, Simons, & Keeler, 1993). To address this aim, ten varsity athletes from the University of the Philippines Diliman were interviewed following protocols outlined in the Scanlan Collaborative Interview Method (SCIM; Scanlan, Russell, Wilson, & Scanlan, 2003a). Results indicate that sport enjoyment, valuable opportunities, personal investments, social constraints, and social support were salient sources of commitment, while other priorities had either a neutral or positive effect on commitment. Furthermore, additional constructs were identified, in particular, wanting to be the best, self-affirmation, and contractual obligations. These merit further investigation and possible inclusion in the SCM. Findings are discussed in relation to previous research and practical implications are offered.

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Kevin Young, Philip White and William McTeer

This paper examines how participation in physically demanding sport, with its potential and actual injurious outcomes, both challenges and reinforces dominant notions of masculinity. Data from 16 in-depth interviews with former and current Canadian adult male athletes indicate that sport practices privileging forceful notions of masculinity are highly valued, and that serious injury is framed as a masculinizing experience. It is argued that a generally unreflexive approach to past disablement is an extraordinary domain feature of contemporary sport. The risks associated with violent sport appear to go relatively unquestioned by men who have suffered debilitating injury and whose daily lives are marked by physical constraints and pain.

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Daniel Fulham O’Neill

Season-ending injuries, particularly those to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), continue to occur at a high rate in many sports. Although multiple factors are thought to contribute to this injury rate, no study has looked at possible psychological influences. Therefore, the present hypothesis suggests that there exists an emotional trauma that affects athletes after seeing someone in their own sport sustain a serious injury. This traumatic response could result in a change in performance tactics that could result in injury to oneself (“injury contagion”). Students numbering 459 (N= 459; 277 males and 182 females) from four ski academies were studied. Results from psychological testing showed an increase in the use of fear words and phrases after injury to a teammate. As a result, it is recommended that coaches and other personnel maintain a heightened awareness of teammates’ emotions after a team member sustains a significant injury.

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Mildred Mary Witt

Sustaining an injury can be traumatic for a collegiate student-athlete. Serious injuries are often accompanied by complex emotional and psychological responses that warrant a mental health consultation and clinical intervention. Anxiety and stress-related concerns are increasingly prevalent in the student-athlete population, particularly among female student-athletes. This paper reviews the relevant injury, sports psychology, and counseling literature pertaining to student-athletes, with a focus on female collegiate athletes. Utilizing a hypothetical case illustration, the counseling needs of the injured female student-athlete are discussed. Three therapeutic interventions: expressive writing, cognitive processing therapy, and Koru Meditation, an evidencedbased curriculum for teaching mindfulness skills, are proposed to reduce anxiety, injury-related stress, and other mental health concerns in this population.

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Leslie Podlog, Sophie M. Banham, Ross Wadey and James C. Hannon

The purpose of this study was to examine athlete experiences and understandings of psychological readiness to return to sport following a serious injury. A focus group and follow-up semistructured interviews were conducted with seven English athletes representing a variety of sports. Three key attributes of readiness were identified including: (a) confidence in returning to sport; (b) realistic expectations of one’s sporting capabilities; and (c) motivation to regain previous performance standards. Numerous precursors such as trust in rehabilitation providers, accepting postinjury limitations, and feeling wanted by significant others were articulated. Results indicate that psychological readiness is a dynamic, psychosocial process comprised of three dimensions that increase athletes’ perceived likelihood of a successful return to sport following injury. Findings are discussed in relation to previous research and practical implications are offered.

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James O. Davis

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.

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Sameep D. Maniar, Lewis A. Curry, John Sommers-Flanagan and James A. Walsh

This study’s purpose was to evaluate athlete willingness to seek help from various sport-titled and non sport-titled individuals when confronted with three common sport performance problem scenarios: midseason slump, return from serious injury, and desire to perform more optimally. Athlete intervention preferences were also assessed. Data were collected on a stratified (by gender) random sample of 60 NCAA Division I athletes. Using an observable one-point difference on a nine-point Likert-type scale and a corresponding moderate to large main effect (Cohen’s d < .40), results indicated that for all scenarios, athletes preferred seeking help from a coach over sport-titled professionals, whereas sport-titled professionals were preferred over counselors and clinical psychologists. Goal setting and imagery were the preferred interventions. Hypnosis and medication were less preferred. The discussion focuses on sport-related professional titles and athlete education to enhance service acceptability.

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Douglas Kleiber, Susan Greendorfer, Elaine Blinde and Diane Samdahl

The possibility that the experience of retirement from sport may be different from one athlete to another has not been thoroughly examined. The current study offers evidence on the effect of role performance in intercollegiate basketball and football on life satisfaction in the period of adulthood immediately following. The theoretical departure point for this research comes from Kearl’s (1986) analysis of “exits” in everyday life and his assumption that the quality of role performance in the ending phases of a career will influence subsequent well-being. From a survey of recollections, orientations, and current conditions of 426 former football and basketball players, subjects were grouped according to whether they had received some kind of recognition during their last year (e.g., all-league, honorable mention), whether they had started most of the games or not, and whether their career had been cut short due to serious injury. Life satisfaction, as measured by the LSI-A, showed a significant main effect for career-ending injury but not for the other two variables, and there were no interactions. Athletes who had sustained a careerending injury before completing eligibility showed significantly lower life satisfaction than those who had not. Tests for the influence of year leaving sport and continued involvement in sport did not change the result. Thus, the evidence provides mixed support for the quality-of-exit thesis; while good endings may not affect subsequent life satisfaction, bad endings may.

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Steven H. Ryder, Robert J. Johnson, Bruce D. Beynnon and Carl F. Ettlinger

Athletes are particularly at risk for anterior cruciate ligament injury, and there is some evidence that female athletes are more at risk than males. The conflicting principles of stability and mobility are at odds within the knee, setting the stage for potentially serious injuries. Some investigators suggest that the size of the intercondylar notch should be used to identify athletes at risk for ACL damage, but more research is required before clinical decisions can be based on notch width measurements. Athletic shoe modifications and artificial playing surfaces may influence the incidence of ACL injures. Functional knee braces appear to have beneficial strain shielding effect on the ACL for anterior directed loads and internal–external torques applied to the tibia, but this effect appears to decrease as the magnitude of these anterior directed loads and torques increases. Ski equipment is often pointed to as a contributing factor in ACL injuries, but there is no evidence that modifications in ski equipment will decrease ACL disruptions. An education program based on recognizing the events that lead to ACL injury in skiing may reduce knee injuries in the future.