Science and Soccer

By Thomas Reilly; A. Mark Williams | Go to book overview

11

Psychology and injury in soccer

Frank Sanderson

Introduction

Injury blights the lives of many soccer players and affects the fortunes of many teams. When an elite player is injured, there are not only personal costs to the player but also potentially major repercussions for the teams he/she represents. For example, David Beckham's foot injury, sustained at a critical stage in Manchester United's season and a few weeks before the 2002 World Cup, triggered intense media interest - not surprising, given his pivotal role at club level and in the national team.

Sports participation rates and training intensities have both increased dramatically in recent years (Ninedek and Kolt, 2000) and this has inevitably led to sharp increases in the incidence of sports injuries (Crossman, 1997, 2001). This trend has stimulated increasing investment in the prevention and treatment of injuries, with growing numbers of sports scientists and medical practitioners specializing in sports medicine.

But how much attention is actually being paid to psychological aspects of injury? Are there psychological dispositions which make injuries more likely to occur? What about the psychological implications of injury? Are there lessons we can learn from psychology which will help in the prevention and treatment of injury?

The aim of this chapter is to explore answers to these questions, and in the process, promote an awareness that there is an important psychological dimension to injury. Initially, the many links between psychological factors and injury occurrence are outlined. In the second part of the chapter, the psychology of rehabilitation is considered, drawing from literature that has focused on emotional reactions to injury, social support and psychological interventions.


11.1Psychological factors and injury occurrence

11.1.1Stress and injury

Andersen and Williams (1988) linked athletic injury with stress levels, the latter triggered by such psychological factors as trait anxiety, daily hassles and general personality disposition. Other researchers have focused particularly on 'life stress', arguing that it is cumulative in its effects, enhancing the likelihood of injury by affecting the player's concentration on the task in hand. For example, Bramwell et al. (1975) noted that those players with the greatest accumulated life change (as caused by stressful life events, such as 'death of a spouse', 'getting divorced' or even 'getting married') were more likely to experience injury due to attentional narrowing. More recently, it has been found that the frequency of injury is

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Science and Soccer
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • 1 - Introduction to Science and Soccer 1
  • Part 1 - Biology and Soccer 7
  • 2 - Functional Anatomy 9
  • 3 - Fitness Assessment 21
  • 4 - Physiology of Training 47
  • 5 - Motion Analysis and Physiological Demands 59
  • 6 - Nutrition 73
  • 7 - Different Populations 96
  • Part 2 - Biomechanics and Soccer Medicine 107
  • 8 - Biomechanics Applied to Soccer Skills 109
  • References 118
  • 9 - The Biomechanics of Soccer Surfaces and Equipment 120
  • 10 - Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation 136
  • 11 - Psychology and Injury in Soccer 148
  • 12 - Environmental Stress 165
  • Part 3 - Behavioural Science and Soccer 185
  • 13 - Coaching Science and Soccer 187
  • 14 - Skill Acquisition 198
  • 15 - Stress, Performance and Motivation Theory 214
  • References 227
  • 16 - Soccer Violence 230
  • Part 4 - Match Analysis 243
  • 17 - Notational Analysis 245
  • 18 - The Science of Match Analysis 265
  • 19 - Information Technology 276
  • References 283
  • Part 5 - Growth and Adolescence 285
  • 20 - Growth and Maturity Status of Young Soccer Players 287
  • 21 - Identifying Talented Players 307
  • Index 327
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