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Beyond the Physical Injury

Updated: May 6, 2023

Unfortunately, the pain that I felt after each day that left me laying in my hotel bed until I had no choice but to get up for the next session left a mark. This was the perfect next step for my goal, but I turned down the offer and have never stepped on the pitch competitively since. Pain, fear, and doubt made me unable to see past my injury. Even now, 12 years after rejecting the scholarship, I deal with pain when trying to exercise. However, the doctors do not find anything wrong with my knees. As I have delved more into psychology, specifically sport psychology, I have started to conclude that this is why I still struggle and wonder if this field could help me truly recover.

I am one of many athletes who did not have the knowledge or support to make it through the mental hurdles of injuries. My coaches and those around me were also ill-prepared. Not only were the signs and connection to my injuries missed, but none of us knew how to handle the negative consequences either. The NCAA has an article that talks about how athlete who specifically suffer knee injuries “can suffer both physically as well as emotionally with a decrease in their quality of life” (Putukian, 2014). She also spoke of the stories of Olympic skier Picabo Street, who battled depression, and Denver Broncos receiver, Kenny McKinley, who sadly passed away. With other symptoms such as stress and anxiety (Weiss, 2018) that can occur, knowledge of sports psychology is important for both coaches and athletes.

  1. Putukian, M. (2014, November 5). Mind, Body and Sport: How being injured affects mental health. NCAA.org – the Official Site of the NCAA. https://www.ncaa.org/sport-science-institute/mind-body-and-sport-how-being-injured-affects-mental-health

  2. Weiss, W. (2018). Mentally Preparing Athletes to Return to Play Following Injury | Association for Applied Sport Psychology. Appliedsportpsych.org. https://appliedsportpsych.org/resources/injury-rehabilitation/mentally-preparing-athletes-to-return-to-play-following-injury/



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