Stress. That’s the bottom line after endless tests and clinical evaluations. In the end, vulnerability to injury, problems with recovery from injury and staling in pre-competitive preparation stem from stress. But where does stress come from? Unfortunately, the literature on sports psychology is mostly restricted to collegiate Olympic athletes and focuses on injury specific events. Many (if not most) athletes, however, are involved in non-olympic sports, such as powerlifting – my sport. And psychological stress causes stretch far beyond the traditional “fear of failure”, “loss of control” and “social inadequacy” triad. It may generate some unease to spit it out like this in public, but at least in powerlifting and other strength sports, bullying from adversaries, federation infight and other serious conflicts that emanate from the power games inherent to the sport may be the chief causes of stress. I have seen athletes being destroyed this way. I’ve seen others just drop out. Haven’t you? The other big one, of course, is how to balance “life as it is” with passionate commitment to one’s sport. Good subject for many articles.
Psychological stress, performance, and injury in sport.
Assessing strategies to manage work and life balance of athletic trainers working in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I setting.