A very recent post share urging me to sign a petition on change.org with regard to providing sports Insurance for injured athletes- opened my eyes. This post share was a generous gesture by sports enthusiasts, intending to request the union minister of sports, for sports insurance cover to the injured athletes.
This was in the aftermath of an accident injury attained by a promising gymnast, Ajeeshma of Thalasseri Kerala, while she was practicing hands front on the vaulting table. Even though the operation was a success- the family would require financial assistance for her future treatment and rehabilitation.
The world of sports has seen many promising careers of athletes come to an end due to crippling injuries. Injuries are so much evident in physical sports these days that the risk of injury and its negative implications is always at the back of an athletes mind. Athletes are under constant fear of injuries, recovery, layoff and loss in earnings.
Injuries can occur as a result of collisions, falls, and accidents during practice and competition blows and tackles from other player’s etcetera. Injuries can happen due to over training, physical fatigue, muscle imbalances and muscle tension. Injuries can also be caused by psychological factors such as competitive stress, anxiety and lack of concentration. When an athlete doesn’t receive social support and his coping skills are low- then he is at a greater risk of an injury.
Insurance cover against injuries and accidents occurred during sports, is very common. International athletes like the soccer super stars who earn a whopping sum of money for themselves, their clubs and sponsors are known to insure their body parts against injuries, for an astronomical price. Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Mecci fall under this bracket.
Injuries can be a reason for emotional stress and psychological trauma when an athlete who is injured and out of action like:-
- Identity loss.
- Fear and anxiety whether he can get back to action.
- Loses confidence and feels insecure.
- Fear of injury reoccurrence.
- Feelings of anger, guilt, confusion, sadness and denial.
An athlete recovering from an injury needs lot of psychological support. The role of sports psychologists, doctors, physiotherapists, trainers, coaches, and parents plays a major role in the rehabilitation and recuperation. Psychological coping skills like goal setting, positive self-talk, imagery and relaxation help in rehabilitation.
How can caregivers help foster speeding up of the rehabilitation process-?
- Give the injured hope and psychological support.
- Instil a sense of confidence in the recovery process and efforts.
- Give active listening to the feelings and concern of the injured.
- Teach the injured ways of coping skills and acceptance.
- Educate the injured about the nature of injury with assistance from the medical staff.
- There is a need for the care givers to be patient, mentally strong and confident about the chances of recovery and the process.
The videos below are instructional videos on how to deal with an injury.
Listen to Dr Jarrod Spencer, sports psychologist speak on the emotional aspect of returning form an injury:-