HOW DOES PERCEIVED SUPPORT INFLUENCE THE INJURY REHABILITATION OF RUGBY PLAYERS AGED 18 – 21 WHEN RECOVERING FROM SHOULDER INJURIES?’
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Research has recognised that injuries are a large risk in sport. When they occur, athletes may experience high emotional distress and lack of understanding about what has happened, as well as facing other rehabilitation issues during the process. To cope with the injury rehabilitation, athletes use various coping strategies. Evidence suggests that a key coping mechanism is social support. There is however, a lack of understanding as to how perceived support helps athletes cope. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to identify the perceptions of support that athletes perceive to be available to them, and why they perceived that support to be so important whilst recovering. The participants include ten male amateur rugby players aged 18 to 21 who play in a variety of positions. They have been required to complete a semi-structured interview to explore their perceptions of the support they had available. The results indicate that the athletes perceived emotional and informational support to be valuable from head coaches, strength and conditioning coaches, physiotherapists, family, friends and teammates during the entire recovery process. As it can be very difficult to avoid a sporting injury, recognizing what athletes want in terms of support when recovering from an injury, is highly important. The implication of the study is to ensure that providers create an environment where emotional support is available as needed.
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