Examining the existence of person-related antecedents in relation to coping with a sports-related injury
University of Wales
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The purpose of this study was to investigate an athlete’s ability to cope and the possible existence of coping antecedents when coping with sporting injury. With sport being considered as a breeding ground for physical injury, investigating an athlete’s ability to deal with the resultant stressors is an important area of research. The aim of the study, therefore, was to focus on the influence of person-related antecedents on an athlete’s ability to cope with sporting injury. The sample used for this study was made up of four female footballers from the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. All participants suffered an injury in the last 12 months which kept them out of training and competition for at least 6 weeks. A semi-structured interview guide was used to conduct the interviews, which involved discussions about appraisals, stressors, coping, responses and antecedents. The interview recordings were then transcribed and coded. The results suggest the existence of three person-related antecedents: confidence, anxiety and previous injury experience. Also the type of injury which the athlete experienced appeared to affect which coping strategy they chose, with the athletes who suffered an on-going overuse injury choosing avoidance or emotion-focused coping. These findings should provide suggestions for ways to help an athlete recover as effectively and efficiently as possible from injury. Future research should investigate the existence of socio-environment antecedents as well as other person-related antecedents, which may influence an athlete’s ability to cope with injury. The interaction between person-related antecedents and socio-environment antecedents should also be examined as this may affect the individual antecedent’s effect on coping.
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