The Perceptions and Psychological Responses of Multiple Injured Rugby Union Players: A Qualitative Study
University of Wales
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Previous research regarding the psychological affect of injury on athletes has most commonly examined the perceptions of athletes who have sustained single injuries. Little research has been conducted in regards to the perceptions and psychological responses of athletes who have sustained injuries on numerous occasions. The previous research undertaken regarding the psychology of multiple injuries has found that no single psychological factor is able to explain as to why some athletes become multiple injured. The present studies aim is to explore the perceptions and psychological responses of multiply injured male rugby union players. Semi structured interviews were conducted with a sample of players comprised of four rugby union players who had sustained the same injury on multiple occasion and four who had sustained different injuries on numerous occasions. Interviews were transcribed and content analysed. A number of different themes were derived from the data. The reoccurring themes identified included self confidence, self efficacy, wariness of injury reoccurrence, ongoing doubts, altered technique, low confidence, pressure and goal setting. A number of these themes were identified within both of the sample groups showing some similarities in the responses of the different groups. The main difference that emerged was the effect that past and current rehabilitation had on the athletes. The athletes who had sustained different injuries found that their past and current rehabilitation were not similar in anyway due to different parts of the body being injured. However the athletes who had sustained the same injury found that as a result of undergoing the rehabilitation process on the same body part previously they felt more comfortable and familiar, resulting in a more beneficial and efficient rehabilitation process.
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