1st Edition

The Mental Impact of Sports Injury

Edited By Carly McKay Copyright 2022
    250 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Much is known about the physical strain that athletes’ bodies are subjected to and the dangerous aspects of competition immediately spring to mind. But why do athletes train the way they do, and why do they push the limits? Why do some recover well from injury while others struggle? Despite decades of medical and sport science research, a piece has been missing from this picture.

    Until recently, the role of psychological factors in risk and rehabilitation has been poorly understood. Thankfully, there is increasing awareness of just how crucial these factors can be for predicting injury, improving recovery, developing prevention strategies, and supporting athletes’ long-term health. Yet, research in this area is still in its infancy and it can be difficult to synthesize an ever-growing body of knowledge into practical injury management approaches.

    Using analogies from everyday life, The Mental Impact of Sports Injury bridges the gap between academic research and practical settings in an informative, yet easy to follow guide to the psychology of sports injury. Addressing risk, rehabilitation, and prevention, it outlines key considerations for researchers and practitioners across all levels of sport. Alongside the fundamentals of injury psychology, emerging areas of importance are also discussed, including training load monitoring and the technological advances that are shaping modern sport medicine. Targeted examples highlight the challenges of preventing and managing injury in grassroots, elite, and professional contexts, with chapters dedicated to the under-served communities of youth and Para sport athletes. Stepping away from traditional texts, this unique book presents the landmark literature, major concepts, and athlete insights into sports injury psychology from a totally new perspective.

    1. Introduction (What Have I Gotten Myself Into?)

    Carly McKay

    2. Theoretical Models and How to Read Their Instructions (Flat Pack Psychology)

    Carly McKay

    3. The Myth of the Injury-prone Athlete (It’s Not Just about Personality After All)

    Carly McKay, Scott Rollo, Kirsten Dillon, and Harry Prapavessis

    4. The Link between Stress and Sports Injury ("I Didn’t See It Coming")

    Carly McKay and Lee Moore

    5. Stress, Coping, and the Missing Link in Training Load (Camel, Meet Straw)

    Carly McKay and Stephen West

    6. Exploring the Complexities of Pain (Why It Isn’t "All in Your Head")

    Carly McKay and Abby Tabor

    7. How Injury Can Be a Positive Thing (Some People Are Just Good at Everything)

    Carly McKay and Mason Raymond

    8. Why Injury Isn’t Generally a Positive Thing (Most People Have to Play the Cards They’re Dealt)

    Carly McKay

    9. Technology and Injury (Living in the Iron(man) Age)

    Carly McKay and Nicol van Dyk

    10. Navigating Team Dynamics throughout the Injury Process ("Family" Values in a Sport Environment)

    Carly McKay, Jordan D Herbison, and Luc J Martin

    11. How Sport Culture and Commodification Influence Injury Experiences (Another One Bites the Dust)

    Carly McKay and Caroline Bolling

    12. When Injuries Lead to Retirement (Calling it a Day)

    Carly McKay and Steve Mellalieu

    13. Can We Convince People that Prevention is Important? (But Broccoli is Good for You)

    Carly McKay

    14. Learning from Marketing Giants to Sell Athlete Health (What if Prevention Had a Slogan?)

    Carly McKay

    15. Injury Psychology and Young Athletes (Choosing from the Kids’ Menu)

    Carly McKay and Ulrika Tranaeus

    16. Injury Psychology and Para Athletes (Same Same, But Different)

    Carly McKay, Lisa Callaghan, Marelise Badenhorst, Phoebe Runciman, and Wayne Derman

    17. Conclusion (Where Do We Go from Here?)

    Carly McKay


    Carly D. McKay, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer in Injury Prevention at the University of Bath, United Kingdom.