Psychology of sports injury: variables and fundamental phases

lesion deportiva

The sportive injuries form part of the sportive practice because few are the people that make sport and have not been lesionados sometime, of minor or greater gravity. From small annoyances until greater injuries that demand the visit to the traumatologist specialist in knee after suffering a break of crossed or similar ligament. The sportive psychology earns a big importance when they give  these no wished situations by any sportsman.

The sportsmen, especially in those cases in which the sport forms part of his daily or even labour life for the case of the professionals, that live a situation very estresante when they fall lesionados. The way to face an injury goes to depend largely of the characteristics of the personality of the sporty lesionado. In the case of the professional sportsmen the pressure even sees  increased when transciende of form mediática since even they see  forced to have to give public explanations on his injury and the professional repercussion that can have. For the case of the amateur sportsmen the pressure carries  to other terrains, like the economic, since it can have repercussion in his works out of the sport or the price that has an operation of meniscuss, for example.

Psychological variables to face an injury

The main psychological variables to know handle these injuries derive  in his majority of a high emotional intelligence to be able to manage the conflict without generating others. Therefore, the automotivación personal, the handle of the stress, the toleración to the frustration, the autoconfianza or toutoestima personal or the capacity of resiliencia play a fundamental paper for lidiar with these situations. From here that the psychological work with the sportsmen have to be included inside all the sportive programmings to warn and be ready when it produce  the injury.

Psychological stages of the sportive injury.

The sportive injury follows a pattern of afrontamiento very similar to the that sucede in the stages of conventional duel. It exists a very extended model in the sportive practice that consists of 5 sequential stages that of a form or another justify the reactions of the sporty with his situation (Gordon,1986; Gordon, Millios and Grove, 1991; Hodge and McNair, 1990):

  • Negation. In this first stage does not accept  the injury, the sportsman still finds  in phase of shock after falling lesionado. Still no it believes it to him by what is used to to give him less importance of which really can have.
  • Rage. The sportsman goes in in the reality with what him sucede, knows the terms of recovery and begins to feel frustrating do by the sucedido, until angered achieve same or trying blame to third people or to one same of his injury.
  • Negotiation. It begins  to face the reality tried racionalizarla and give him felt. It begins to schedule like going out of the injury and return to the sportive practice. It begins to analyse how can warn future situations for when it go back to do sport.
  • Depression. In the case of grave injuries, in this fourth stage the sportsman knows of full way the scope of the injury and the possible consequences by what  full of some uncertainty on his future in the sport. It is in this phase when the sportsman is feebler and the figure of the sportive psychologist earns a big importance not to fall in a state depresivo greater.
  • Acceptance. This is the last stage in which finally once surpassed the state of spirit under the lesionado begins to concentrate of form more forceful the efforts in the process of rehabilitation and the turn to the normal activity.

Some technicians of intervention that can use  during these stages so that the player keep high his automotivación are the cognitive or technical restructuring of relaxation, between others.



Gordon, S. (1986). Sport Psychology and the injured athlete: To  to cognitive behavioral approach to injury response and injury rehabilitation. Sport Science Periodical on  Research and Technology in Sport, 1, 1-9.

Gordon, S. & Lindgren, S. (1990). Psycho-physical rehabilitation from To serious sport injury: marry study of an elite fast bowler. Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 22, 71-76.

Gordon, S., Millios, D. & Grove, J.R. (1991). Psychological aspects of the recovery process from sport injury: the perspective of sport physiotherapist. Australian Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 23, 312-318.

Iván Pico

Director y creador de Psicólogo Colegiado G-5480 entre otras cosas. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales y Máster en Orientación Profesional. Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y Organizaciones. Posgrado en Psicología del Deporte entre otras cosas. Visita la sección "Sobre mí" para saber más. ¿Quieres una consulta personalizada? ¡Escríbeme!

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