If an athlete experiences fulfillment of the three psychological needs through the use of coping, there is an increased chance they will be positively motivated which will reflect in their performance.
Use the chart below to identify common symptoms and coping mechanisms associated with the mental component of injury and recovery
Step 1: Identify symptoms you observe in your athletes
Step 2: Once you have identified what category your athlete falls into, follow the arrow to the associated coping mechanisms
Step 3: Apply the coping mechanisms to your specific situation
1. Young athletes need a supportive environment. Health care professionals, coaches and parents should work together to create a positive experience.
2. Patience will be key. A change in mindset is not something that will occur overnight.
Fear of re-injury
Lack of confidence in performance
Lack of confidence in capabilities
Fear of how missing competition looks to coaches and teammates
Relaxing techniques to reduce stress.
Positive imagery where the athlete visualizes their return to sport.
Progressive function and fitness testing to rebuild confidence- this will allow them to see their body getting stronger
Short term and long term goal setting to minimize self-presentational concerns.
Athlete reports feeling pressured to return to sport
Athlete shows signs of stress after interactions with coaches or teammates
Provide the athlete with rationale for rehabilitation exercises.
Acknowledge the fears and hesitations associated with rehabilitation and return to sport.
Athlete begins to isolate or alienate themselves from sport.
Athlete begins to isolate or alienate themselves from friends and family.
Keep the athlete involved in sport by providing exercises that can be done at practice.
Provide the athlete with social support that includes listening, emotional and informational.
Remind athlete that sport is only a small part of who they are