Effects of return to sport following injury on psychological state and situational specific elements of performance within elite male rugby players
University of Wales
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The aim of the current study was to explore the collective factors that influence an athlete’s psychological state prior to returning to performance after injury within the sport of rugby union, and how this may affect situational specific elements of performance. In depth semi-structured interviews were conducted to discuss return to rugby experiences following a severe injury with elite male rugby players (n = 6). These interviews were transcribed verbatim and the content was analysed. Nine key themes were articulated from the data analysis that compromised the factors that influenced the return to full training/competition experience including: perceived factor(s) that contributed towards injury; pressure to return; confidence in treatment/rehab; returning to contact; holding back; affects on skill acquisition/specific aspects of performance; changes in self-confidence, self-doubt & fear of re-injury/injured body part; influences on present performance/approaches to training; and finally, use of social support. The findings from this study are consistent with Johnston and Carroll’s (1998) qualitative investigation that examined competitive and recreational athletes’ psychological state returning from injury which highlighted key factors such as fear of re-injury, changes in confidence levels and strategies to restore confidence in the injured body part.
BA Enterprise Project
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