Term of Award

Spring 2003

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology with an Emphasis in Sport Psychology

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Department

Department of Public Health

Committee Chair

A. Barry Joyner

Committee Member 1

Kevin L. Burke

Committee Member 2

Bryan Riemann

Abstract

Sport injuries have been predicted to occur at a rate of 17 million per year, and 8 of 10 athletes become injured during high school and college (Robbins & Rosenfeld, 2001). Injured athletes may experience tension, loneliness, fear, shock/disbelief, and uncertainty of the future (Evan & Hardy, 2002b; Udry et al., 1997). Athletes also look towards the head and assistant coaches, athletic trainers, teammates, family and friends for social support during an injury (Gould et al., 1997a; Robbins & Rosenfeld, 2001). A qualitative and quantitative design was utilized to describe the effects of relaxation and imagery in the sport rehabilitation setting on self-confidence and fear of returning to sport. In addition, the possible relationships between perceived social support, self-confidence, and transition into play were investigated with modified versions of the State and Trait Sport Confidence Inventory (Vealey, 1986), Social Support Survey (Richman, Rosenfeld, & Hardy, 1993), and Sport Imagery Evaluation (Vealey & Greenleaf, 2001). Participants were 2 injured male collegiate athletes (soccer and baseball) with upper extremity injuries of moderate severity levels and an estimated recovery period of 2 weeks. Participants were given a specifically designed audiocassette tape of a guided imagery script, which was used twice daily. Results were processed and analyzed for any similarities and/or discrepancies between participants regarding the rehabilitation experience. Both experienced increases in self-confidence and moderate to high levels of social support. Participant 001 received the most amount of social support from the athletic trainer and significant other. Participant 002 received the most social support from the head coach. Neither participant was fearful to return to play.

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