Stress Related Sports Injuries

1803 Words Apr 9th, 2008 8 Pages
Physical factors are one the primary cause of injuries in sports and exercise for instance, a poor tackle in football, an awkward landing in gymnastics or poor warm-ups in sprinting. However, psychological researchers are continuing to show that thoughts, perceptions and aspects of personality may be linked to the incidence of injury.
Stress and athletic injury
Past research has seen the relationship between athletic injuries and psychological factors as essentially stress-related (1). In this sense, stress is predicted to produce increased state anxiety and consequently alterations in attentional focus and muscular tension. It is important to note that stress does not exist outside the individual “ not all people respond negatively to
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Despite this, the research findings to date are difficult to interpret due to inconsistencies, with the relationship between personality and injury remaining unclear. It would seem unlikely that a personality profile that characterizes 'injury-prone ' athletes actually exists (4), although some studies have identified patterns/trends that appear to warrant further investigation.
One recent study identified injured college gymnasts as possessing emotional instability, emotional disturbance, stress proneness and lack of self-control (5). This finding appears to support the stress-injury model previously discussed. Other research has shown a readiness to take risks (lack of caution, spirit of adventure) as characteristic of injured athletes, although this is not sufficient to establish a causal relationship between such traits and injury. The relationship between personality and injury should be viewed with caution. Some recent reviewers (6) emphasizes that personality characteristics appear to either buffer or exacerbate the stress response “ which is proposed to be the mechanism linked to injury. If personality is linked to injury (which is at present unclear) it is likely through indirect means.
Attitudes and injury:
In work with injured athletes, some sport and exercise psychologists have proposed that certain attitudes might predispose athletes to injury (7). According to this
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