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  • Macrotrauma Injury resulting from a single impact or force that creates tissue damage (e.g., fracture, sprain, or dislocation).

  • Malingering Intentionally pretending to have exaggerating physical or psychological symptoms, especially to avoid work or a return to participation.

  • Microtrauma Injury resulting from repeated smaller forces that gradually result in tissue damage over time (e.g., stress fracture, tendinitis).

  • Normative behavior Behavior that is expected by societal standards.

  • Overconformer Athlete who unconditionally accepts the norms of the sport ethic and follows them without reservation.

  • Secondary gain Favorable consequences, such as increased attention from significant others and escape from stressful situations, or medication use, that occur in conjunction with the generally undesirable injury.

  • Sport ethic Socially defined criteria for consideration as an athlete in competitive sports.

  • Sport norms Standards, beliefs, or models considered to be normal in sports settings.

  • Sport socioculture Social and cultural climates, contexts, and structures that surround sport and drive the way individuals act and relate to one another in the sport environment.

  • Underconformer Athlete who rejects or dismisses the norms of the sport ethic.



After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Describe what the dominant sports culture is in high-intensity sports today.

  2. Describe how this culture contributes to injury risk and athlete behaviors following injury.

  3. Define the sport ethic and the normative behavior it elicits.

  4. Identify the athletic trainer's role in the sport culture.

  5. Assess the degree to which athletic trainers and the athletes with whom they work conform to the sport ethic.

  6. Identify strategies to mediate both overconformity and underconformity to the sport ethic norms.


Petra Majdic, an Olympic cross-country skier from the small country of Slovenia, arrived at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games as a medal favorite in multiple events. This wasn't Petra's first Olympic experience. Four years earlier, at the Turin games, a poor choice of skis—cold-weather skis on an unexpectedly warm day—contributed to her disappointing finish out of the medals. In Vancouver, 22 years of training and sacrifice brought her to what might likely be her last chance at an Olympic medal. No one from Slovenia had ever medaled in Olympic cross-country skiing, and Petra no doubt felt the excitement and anticipation of her entire country at the prospect of showing that this tiny nation could compete and even win against the world.

During her warm-up for her first event qualifier, the independent sprint, Petra slid off an icy curve and plunged 10 feet into a craggy creek bed, slamming her ribs into rocks. The impact of the fall snapped her ski poles and broke the tip of one ski. Despite feeling significant pain in her chest, Petra begged to be taken to the start line for her qualifying heat, which was to begin in 20 minutes. Her coaches told her to drop out if the pain ...

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