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  • Active listening Communication technique that requires the listener to feed back what is heard by restating or paraphrasing; to confirm what was heard and to confirm the understanding of both parties.

  • Athlete-centered care Providing individualized care to an athlete.

  • Empathy Being sensitive to and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, or motives of another person.

  • Help-seeking Involves the willingness to ask for assistance from identified resources, such as those with whom athletes feel comfortable seeking help and advice.

  • Matching hypothesis Involves matching the available social support to the social support needs of the athlete.

  • Rapport The harmonious or synchronous relationship of two or more people who relate well to each other.

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

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

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



After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Identify and describe types of social support.

  2. Describe the relationships between help-seeking tendencies and social support.

  3. Explain the importance of matching athletes' social support needs with the provision of social support.

  4. Describe the role the athletic trainer plays in the provision of social support.

  5. Explain the importance of educating athletes, their parents/guardians, and others regarding their injury condition to enhance the athletes' well-being.

  6. Implement psychosocial strategies into athlete care before and after injury to enhance the athlete's perception and availability of social support.


Kate is competing in her freshman season of collegiate soccer when she experiences a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Kate moved across the country to the Southeastern United States to attend school and to play NCAA Division II soccer. Although she has made friends with teammates and classmates, and is familiar with the athletic training staff through their regular interactions and from her coursework, her family and friends with whom she is most comfortable are on the West Coast. To complicate things, her insurance requires her to have the surgery performed in her hometown for it to be covered, which requires significant logistical considerations by all involved. Fortunately, winter break is approaching, and her surgery is scheduled during her trip home for the holidays. Upon her return to campus, she is adherent to her rehabilitation plan and often finds herself doing rehabilitation at the same time as a baseball player who is returning from an ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery (also known as Tommy John surgery). They become "rehab buddies" of sorts, as they find themselves working next to each other day after day and week after week.


Athletic trainers, particularly in the more traditional athletic settings, have the significant advantage of being able to get to know the ...

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