Psychological risk factors

Psychological risk factors

A number of psychological factors are assumed to increase the risk for injury:

Life stresses:
eg death of spouse; moving house; daily hassles
Minor hassles and irritations have been shown to increase risk for injury

Risk Takers:
Some players more willing to take risks  “put the body on the line”  increased potential for injury. Type A people (aggressive, hard-driving, ruled by the clock, obsessed with accomplishing more) tend to have more health problems and are more predisposed to athletic injury than Type B people (relaxed, easy-going, optimistic, moderate). Runners with a Type A personality have been reported as having more injuries and is more common in those who developed tibial stress fractures .

Tendency to be nervous or anxious in stressful situations – may be from pressure to succeed or from fear of harm/injury  greater risk for injury. Appropriate levels of anxiety are necessary for peak performance, but too much can be problematic.

State of Mind:
Athletes with higher positive states of mind (staying focused, keeping relaxed, and sharing with others) have been shown to be at less risk for injury .

Management of psychological risk factors:
Coach, teammates and health professionals need to recognise them  put in place social support mechanisms to assist players/competitors.

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