Importance of Social Support To Injured Athletes

explanatory Essay
1741 words
1741 words

Sports have become a major part of our culture. Sports now serve as entertainment, recreation, and even religion for some die-hard fans. All levels of sport have become relevant and elite leagues, year round competition, and travel associations have become the norm. The importance of winning, getting scholarships, and competing at the highest level has tremendously increased the pressure from parents and coaches for athletes to succeed. The rise in sports participants has seen the significant increase in sports related injuries. In 2006 the CDC reported that high school students accounted for an estimated 2 million injuries, 500,000 doctors visits, and 30,000 hospitalizations. This number has surely risen from three years ago. Injured athletes not only have to worry about recovery and rehabilitation from their injuries, but the emotional and mental impact injuries can have. I believe that social support from teammates and coaches will eliminate the self-doubt, self-worth, and any other mental concerns athletes may worry about during injury rehabilitation. This issue is very important to me as former high school athlete. I have been playing soccer since I was seven years old and continued playing soccer all the way into my high school years. The first year of my high school season was cut short after I tore my anterior crucial ligament (ACL) in my knee, which required surgery and nine months of physical therapy. During those months of rehabilitation, my coach contacted me one time to see when I would be ready to play and I did not see any of my teammates until I came back the next season. During many of my physical therapy sessions I began to question my importance and role on the team. I had the best freshman season in school hi... ... middle of paper ... ... are away from their team long enough for self-worth and self-doubt to set in. These athletes are at a higher risk to have prolonged recovery times and to return to their teams unhappy and concerned. Coaches and teammates can eliminate these feelings and speed up the recovery process by just encouraging the injured athlete and making sure the athlete knows that they are a vital part of the team. My personal experience allows me to identify with all the feelings injured athletes go through and the lack of social support from my coaches and teammates reinforces opinion that they have a major impact on injury rehabilitation. Providing social support to injured players should be a top priority for coaches because they not only owe it to that player who has trained and played hard for the team but to build and maintain positive, trusting relationships with their players.

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that sports have become a major part of our culture, and that social support from teammates and coaches will eliminate the self-doubt and mental concerns athletes may worry about during injury rehabilitation
  • Explains how they decided to research the impact of social support from coaches and teammates on injury rehabilitation.
  • Explains that they read an article entitled psychology of sports injuries and asked four experts in the field, including daniel gould and linda pelichkoff, and fred tedeschi.
  • Opines that a socially supportive environment for an injured athlete speeds up recovery and should give coaches, athletic trainers, parents, and athletes more incentive to incorporate social support into injury recovery.
  • Explains ryan hedstrom's article entitled, with a little help from my friends: using your social support network when dealing with injury.
  • Defines social support as a sense of interpersonal connectedness that fosters positive expressions of emotions, offers encouragement in times of uncertainty, and promotes communication between injured athletes and others involved in the rehabilitation process.
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