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Monday, December 7, 2015

Time Frame of Returning to Sport after injuries

Tips for return to sport

Return to sport is both the ultimate goal of rehab
A source of doubt and worry about the uncertainty of injured athlete’s abilities to return to a level at or above where they performed prior to the injury

It can be threat
·         Low confidence
·         Decreased adherence to rehab
·         Increase in pain
·         Display avoidance behaviors
·         Increases anxiety
·         Reduced motivation

It can be challenge
·         Positive attitude
·         High motivation
·         Excitement
·         Increased effort in rehab
·         Greater desire to return to sport
·         Over adherence to rehab
·         Greater risk of reinjured due to premature return

Stages of Return to Sport
1.      Initial Return to Sport
2.      Recovery confirmation
3.      Return of Physical & Technical Abilities
4.      High Intensity Training
5.      Return to Competition

Initial Stage
·         Considered to be the most difficult
·         Athlete quickly determines the effectiveness of the rehabilitation
·         Entire stage should include a series of tests of the healed area
·         Athlete’s expectation are:
·         They will perform at the same level as prior to the injury
·         Pain will not be present
·         Discussion with the athlete are needed to examine their expectations.
·         A concern of AT is that athlete become “overzealous” in their approach to train and compete.
Recovery Confirmation
·         More psychological than physical
·         Involves the athletes’ obtaining evidence from initial stage that the injury is healed and ready to face the demands of the sport participation
·         This is considered the make or break period
·         Athlete’s initial play will confirm their attitudes and approaches
·         Success will lead to higher levels of self-confidence and motivation
·         Injury does not swell, no pain, full range of motion,
·         Self-confident and motivated
·         Not being successful will lead to doubt if they will be able to return.
·         Swelling occurs, unexpected pain, little range of motion, decrease strength
·         Highly anxious and depressed

Return of Physical & Technical Skills
·         High intensity training marks the absolute conclusion of athlete’s identification that they are fully healed.
·         Re-establishment of their regimen of physical conditioning and technical training
·         Major psychological concern is their level of perceived preparedness:
-                      Provide a safe,
-                      progressive conditioning program developed by the AT or physical trainer

Return to Competition
·         First post-injury competition is key concern:
·         Athlete is usually more anxious than at any other time
·         Initial uncertainty
·         Athlete may have a distorted perception of the probability of the injury occurring again.
·         Need to discuss with the athlete’s their attitude and feeling about the upcoming competition
·         Athlete should not be thinking negatively
·         Athlete needs to redirect their focus to their skills, game strategy, and goals.

Fear of Injury: A Major Concern
·         Perception that recovery is incomplete,
·         returning to sport to soon,
·         impatient in returning to sport,
·         lack of acceptance of the risk of the sport,
·         low confidence,
·         highly anxious,
·         and preoccupied with being re-injured
Prevention of Fear of Reinjury
·         Continue involving in the sport during rehab
·         View rehab as a form of athlete performance
·         Becoming involved with a coping model
·         Performance imagery
·         Give the athlete time to progressively regain their physical, psychological, and technical skills.

Treatment of Fear of Injury
·         Need to take a proactive approach to alleviate the fear
·         Athlete needs to face a similar situation as when the injured occurred.
·         Rational self-talk helps the athlete refocus
·         Simulation practice
·         Relaxation techniques
·         Athlete establish pre-competition and competition routines

Self-Determination Model & Return to Sport
Ryan & Deci (2000) focused on:
·         Competence,
·         Autonomy, and
·         Relatedness in explaining the athlete’s return to sport.
·         From the self-determination perspective, the success of an athlete’s return to sport from injury is related to meeting these psychological needs

Competency Issues
·         Athlete’s fear and concerns of returning to sport
·         Loss of enjoyment because they could not participate in the sport
·         Injury blocked their short & long term goals
·         Letting down others, teammates, and coaches          

Competence Issues
  -  Fear related to returning to sport
  -  Injury blocked  their sport goals
  -  Overcoming their fear of reinjury
Relatedness Issues
 -  Feels of separation from team
 -  Support in re-entry into sport
 -  Having role models
Autonomy Issues
 Sense of personal control
- Pressure to return to sport

Regarding the assistance and management of athletes returning to sport following an injury:
Rehab environments meet these three basic needs of the athlete by:
1.      Implementing goal-setting
2.      Giving the athlete choices when to return to sport
3.      Provide role models
4.      Rehab progress should be safe and successful

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