Psychological Consequences of Injury
Athletes who are injured not only cope with the rehabilitation of the physical injury, but also cope with the overwhelming of internal and external losses.
This refers to the loss of the role of athlete as well as possible loss of place on a team.
Loss of physical health
Not only does this include physical health itself, but also refers to the loss of independence. Athletes train their bodies so they can depend on them when it is time to perform. Injured athletes must now depend on doctors, trainers, other teammates, coaches, etc. to aid in recovery.
Loss of top performance as a major source of self esteem
Injured athletes are suddenly plagued with self-doubt and struggle with questions of own self worth. Often injury can lead to a huge blow to the ego.
Alienation and Isolation
Injured athletes may struggle with feelings of "not fitting in."
Loss of their main coping mechanism for dealing with stress
Athletes who have used sports as their only means to constructively cope with stress may become vulnerable to the negative effects of stress such as anxiety and depression.
What all this means to the athlete
In order to most effectively expedite the rehabilitation process, athletes and coaches must expect certain feelings and behaviors to emerge as a result of injury. As with any kind of loss, the athlete will also go through a number of stages that are directly related to mourning and may parallel the grief cycle of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. An athlete who has not successfully worked through the grieving process may exhibit the following clinical symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood-swings, changes in eating or sleeping habits, decreased feelings of self worth, etc.
What you can do to help
Services are available to injured athletes dealing with grief and depression and to athletes with clinical issues that negatively impact athletic performance. These issues include and are not limited to performance anxiety, clinical depression and mood disorders. Most insurances will cover counseling services for the treatment of anxiety and depression resulting from an adjustment to an athletic injury.
We offer a free 15 minute telephone consultation and are happy to answer any questions you might have.
For Teams, Athletes and Coaches
Assessment and Counseling
By assessing the athlete's mental skill level we are able to reinforce skills already mastered and turn skill deficits into future strengths.
Mental Skills Training
The Nine Mental Skills of a Successful Athlete
- 1. Choose and maintain a positive attitude.
- 2. Maintain a high level of self-motivation.
- 3. Set high, realistic goals.
- 4. Deal effectively with people.
- 5. Use positive self-talk.
- 6. Use positive mental imagery.
- 7. Manage anxiety effectively.
- 8. Manage emotions effectively.
- 9. Maintain concentration.
copyright Ohio Center for Sport Psychology
Individual sessions for athletes, former athletes, members of their families, coaches and staff who are experiencing emotional, behavioral or relationship difficulties which affect their ability to reach their fullest potential.
Team Presentations and Workshops
Boosting team spirit, communication, team-building strategies and exercises.
Referral and Information
Referrals to other treatment providers when necessary may include: sports medicine, nutrition specialists, physical therapy and orthopedics, as well as eating disorder specialists.