Research Summaries Research Summary 22 Coping with Injury - Page 6

Helping Players Cope with the Stress of Injury Learning from the research – putting the strategies into practice This summary, like the original article, has been written with young participants in team sports in mind. However, that does not mean the strategies included are only applicable for this group. There are potentially a number of positive outcomes for coaches who implement these strategies with their injured players. As well as developing themselves through an enhanced knowledge of the type of stress their players may encounter when suffering common Musculoskeletal Injury Stressor Temporary physical restrictions • • • As far as possible, include the injured player in exercises and drills: – Rehabilitation process • with exercises that improve skills in areas not affected by the injury. – observing/critiquing sessions Help injured players take part in non-physical ways: • suggesting drills to improve team weaknesses – using mental imagery to practise skills and build confidence. – emotional support (ie show care and compassion) – tangible support (ie provide existing evidence to inspire/show recovery is possible). – bring the injured player to training and matches Facilitate a positive support network around the injured player by providing: informational support (ie acknowledge progress in recovery) Encourage parents to: – act as a sounding board during the recovery process. – setting shorter-term, possibly daily goals – encouraging the development of a positive mindset Help the injured player by: – Anxiety about pain and re-injury through limited participation or modified exercises/drills – – • To help coaches put the learning into practice with their injured players, the table below summarises the strategies associated with each stressor. Coaches can quickly refer to this tool when dealing with injured players in future. Strategies for Coaches – Feelings of isolation musculoskeletal injuries, coaches can help their injured players recover, and foster team cohesion by involving the rest of the team. – varying the challenge of goals based on how the player fares developing a team buddy system for more serious injury rehabilitation. Help players develop psychological skills, including: – healing imagery aligned to the stage of recovery – input from teammates who have overcome similar injuries. – positive self-talk