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Exploring the psychological aspects of sport injury
Exploring the psychological aspects of sport injury

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1.1 Sport injury case studies

If you’ve ever experienced an injury yourself or been close to somebody who has (e.g. an athlete that you coach or an exercise participant that you train), you will appreciate what it is like to be injured. You will have the opportunity to draw on any such experiences as you progress through the course. Additionally, as you explore the psychological aspects of injury you will be examining the experiences of two case studies – Lois and Travis – who are introduced below. You will learn more about Lois and Travis as you progress through the course.

Case study: Introducing Lois (sprinter)

Lois is a 27-year-old sprinter who competes in the 200m and 400m. After a successful season last year in which she ran personal bests (PBs) in both of her events Lois was looking forward to having another successful season this year.

The first part of her winter training went really well, and Lois was feeling stronger than ever before and very positive about the season ahead. However, after Christmas she started to experience pain in her left Achilles tendon and eventually ruptured it. She has been told that she will miss the whole of the athletics season.

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Figure 2 Lois (sprinter)
Case study: Introducing Travis (exercise participant)

Travis is a 35-year-old exercise participant. He goes to the gym every day and takes his training very seriously. He enjoys the buzz he gets from exercising as well as the aesthetic and physical benefits he derives from exercise. He does not like to miss exercise sessions and has a very structured exercise regime.

Travis sustained a rotator cuff injury (shoulder) during a weight training session. He has been told that he will be unable to go to the gym for a few weeks to do any upper body training and will need to reduce his exercise intensity for a while when he does return.

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Figure 3 Travis (exercise participant)

Now that you’ve met Lois and Travis let’s move on to explore how injury and psychology are linked.