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Psychology and Sports Injuries

Psychology and Sports Injuries

“Role of Psychology during Sports injuries”

Injury is physical trauma or damage caused to the body by an external force. Injuries in sports are very common and can occur through contact or noncontact mechanisms or even overuse due to high intensity workouts.

An injury not only causes pain and distress physically but also causes psychological distress.

Injury Management is a process requiring additional work from the injured athlete to regain competitive ability psychologically. Sports counselling & psychology plays a key role during injury and post injury recovery as Sports psychologists work on deeper areas like stress, emotions, feelings, grief response, and motivation and so on.

Return from an injury for an athlete can be really tough and lengthy process. As the recovery and rehabilitation process involves  support, care  and guidance from various health care professionals  like Orthopaedic, Physicians, Physiotherapists, Physical trainers, Strength and Conditioning trainers, Nutritionist and other therapists. Although the athlete  may have recovered in medical terms (ie, Improvements in pain,  flexibility, range of motion, functional strength, pain, neuromuscular control, inflammation) but preparation for competition requires the restoration of competitive mind set and confidence more than physical aspects like strength, power, speed, agility, and endurance at levels exhibited in sport.

A competitive athlete is never free from pain and injuries as they train more than 8 hours a day.

Understanding the psychology of athletes during their injuries and helping them cope up psychologically to regain their confidence to resume their sport is the priority of the sports psychologists.

My Experience- I was an international swimmer and a national record holder from 2001-2009. I was one of the top swimmers in my age group and was declared as the best swimmer in most of the National swimming championships.  In 2007. I had a shoulder injury and I also underwent a major shoulder surgery which made me stay away from swimming for more than 5 months. It was a difficult phase for me as I was at my peak and during this phase I had lost lot of confidence and hope. For me thinking of returning to swimming was impossible during this phase. The constant support and motivation from my family, doctor, psychologist and physiotherapist made a major impact on my mind set. I swam the Senior National championship in the same year and won 3 gold medals in my main events. Here being a sports psychologist I can relate my victory to my support system, positive approach and     self-confidence levels. I have always believed in a quote which says                       “The Body achieves what the Mind believes”……….



Shubha Chittaranjan

Sports and Exercise psychologist, International Swimmer & Ekalavya awardee.

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