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Injury Rehabilitation & Confidence

Studies have shown that those who use goal setting throughout rehabilitation, adhere to a rehabilitation programme more so, to those who do not set goals (Evans, L., & Hardy, L. 2002). Goal setting also increases self-efficacy, during the process and completion. This provides satisfaction and a sense of progress for the individual.

Setting Difficult but Achievable Goals

Optimally difficult but achievable goals, ensures that the individual has a level of high self-efficacy to begin the recovery process with (Bandura & Cervone, 1983). If the goals are too easy, this feeling of fulfilment may not be achieved. This will also encourage the person to continue setting more challenging goals during rehabilitation, which should help create a positive mindset. Both self-efficacy and goals are seen to be reciprocal to one and other (Bandura & Cervone, 1983).

Overcoming the Fear of Reinjury

The fear of reinjury is a common factor seen when clients have suffered an injury that has affected their participation within their sport (Santi, G., & Pietrantoni, L. 2013). This needs to be addressed and recognised, so that the individual can regain their self-confidence. Reassurance and injury prevention advice and exercises can help to address this concern.

Mental Rehearsal – visualisation techniques

A technique that many sports psychologists recommend using to increase self-confidence, decrease anxiety, improve fear and tension is mental rehearsal (visualisation) or imagery. This can be used in many different sporting situations and may aid individual’s when returning to their chosen sport after rehabilitation. Pain management, motivation and practical performance may all be enhanced through using this technique. It is especially successful during or before warmups and within the games when there are breaks.

This was shown in a study that resulted an increase in goals scored within basketball. Very similar to the calm state of meditation, imagery can be done when inducing a calm state and acknowledging feelings for example of anxiety (Makarowski et al., 2016a; Makarowski et al.,2016b). This can be addressed and eliminated during the process. High levels of anxiety are important to address because this is when skills and techniques may be executed wrong, which could lead to a loss or more importantly an injury.

It is important that the person gains the ability to picture themselves in a successful situation when performing that technique or tactic (LeUnes, 2008). For example, it may be visualising themselves scoring within a game of netball, when they are under pressure. For individual sport such as cross fit for example, being able to complete a sequence in weightlifting that they have previously struggled with and what steps are required in order for this successful completion. It is also necessary for the individual to learn when it is the right time to perform this technique.

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