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  • Affirmation statements Positive, action-oriented self-talk that affirms athletes' abilities.

  • Athletic identity The degree to which a person identifies the self as an athlete.

  • Autonomy A sense of choice or control over one's actions and behaviors.

  • Competence A sense of being capable or proficient in one's pursuits.

  • Functional progression A series of gradually progressive activities designed to prepare athletes for return to a specific sport.

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

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

  • Performance imagery The creation or re-creation of an experience in the mind from memory or quasi-experience using a combination of the five senses with the goal of improving an aspect of a performance in sport or rehabilitation.

  • Physiotherapists Term used for sports medicine practitioners in other countries, similar to athletic trainers in the United States.

  • Process goals Goals that focus on the actions an individual must engage in during performance to execute or perform well.

  • Reframing Changing the way one views a situation by consciously choosing to attend to different aspects of the situation.

  • Relatedness A sense of belonging or feeling part of a group.

  • Selective awareness Making a conscious choice as to what one will pay attention.

  • Self-efficacy Confidence in one's ability to perform a particular task in a specific situation.

  • Self-talk Internal and/or external statements to the self, multidimensional in nature, that have interpretive elements associated with their content; it is dynamic and serves at least two functions (instructional and motivational).

  • Social support Includes the feeling or sense of being supported by others, the act of supporting others, and social integration.

  • Tactical imagery A mental rehearsal of plays, strategies, and/or assignments.



After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the psychological concerns injured athletes encounter as they approach their return to participation.

  2. Identify sport-related concerns that injured athletes and athletic trainers need to address before returning to full participation.

  3. Describe how self-determination theory applies to the return-to-participation concerns experienced by injured athletes.

  4. Identify and implement psychosocial strategies to restore athletes' confidence and motivation as they return to participation.

  5. Identify and implement psychosocial strategies to maintain injured athletes' relationships with their teams.

  6. Identify and implement psychosocial strategies to maintain injured athletes' sense of autonomy in the return-to-participation process.


Harper arrived on campus his freshman year excited to begin his collegiate soccer career. During the first drill on the first day of preseason practice, he went to explode from a backpedal to a forward sprint and dislocated his patella. To create optimal healing, he underwent microfracture surgery along with a lateral release. His season was over before it really even began. Following off-season rehabilitation, he arrived for his second preseason camp only to ...

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