Psycosocial Factors of athletic Injuries

2004 Words9 Pages
Collegiate athletes devote much of their time to their sport preparing themselves to compete at such a high level both mentally and physically. When an injury occurs that prevents them from completing their daily routines and keeps them out of their sport the athlete undergoes physical and mental stressors and challenges. Athletic trainers have become experts at handling the physical aspects of injury but the psychological effects are sometimes over looked. It is obvious that injury affects the mental state of an athlete because they devote a large amount of time and effort to training. An injury can make an athlete feel like they are having a lack of self control, alter their self-image, second guess their goals for the future, and increase the level of stress in their life (Moss, 2006). The purpose of this paper is to examine the psychological and physiological effects of a serious injury in a collegiate athlete. The subject is a twenty year old baseball pitcher, referred to as Gus, who is one year post operation for an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction. In April 2007, he underwent Tommy John’s surgery after rupturing his UCL during the spring break trip to Florida. An injury of this magnitude is traumatizing to a pitcher whose position depends on his ability to be able to throw the ball with control and velocity. Prior to the injury, the majority of his life was spent either mentally or physically preparing for baseball. Even during the off season he still estimated he spent fifty to seventy-five percent of his time on baseball. The athlete had been dealing with elbow pain since his junior year in high school. During summer physicals prior to his senior year he reported the pain to his family doctor who said that there was a possibility of an ulnar collateral ligament sprain, but said that it was nothing to worry about because he was still
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