Special topics in sport and psychology

 
This assessment is in two parts. For Part 1, you are required to answer questions relating to a case study concerning the psychological aspects of sports injury (which was covered in Unit 13) and which refers to the video clip below, ‘Harry: coping with injury’. Part 2 involves reflecting on your learning within your chosen option units in Study Topic 4.
Task
Part 1
Case study (1200 words/60 marks)
Read the case study below and answer the questions that follow. You should also watch the video referred to in the case study, ‘Harry: coping with injury’, which is below. A copy of the transcript of this clip can be found in the ‘Other formats’ area of the Module Website.
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Transcript: Harry: coping with injury
MATT (TRAINER)
Well, after today. Don’t bounce around like that.
HARRY
What?
MATT (TRAINER)
Sit properly. Harry.
We had a medical review today and he didn’t get the greatest of news. He was really hoping that he’d be able to sprint and begin training, but we’re still really looking at another at least four to six weeks of rehab. He’s actually been pretty upset today, which is pretty unusual for him. He’s very, very frustrated right now.
HARRY
You do everything right, but yet everything still gets worse and worse. I’ve been positive, got on with it, do what I need to do, but yet that doesn’t have any effect on whether you’re going to get better or not or if you’ll be able to do whatever. When you do athletics, it’s your life, especially when you think you can go somewhere and you’re not allowed to do anything. I’m programmed to run. I’m programmed to train. That’s my life. That’s what I want to do, and that’s just like telling someone they can’t live their life.
INTERVIEWER
What’s it been like for you seeing your son not being able to do what he loves because of his injury?
FATHER
It is a bit stressful. Sometimes you can see that he’s just mildly depressed. The other day, he was crying on my shoulders. Came in and sat down, he was crying, and I really have to tell him, Harry, you have to be very well fit to go and run again because if you go now and you are not fit, you’re only just going to aggravate it and that would be the end of your career.
HARRY
Welcome to Baywatch.
MATT (TRAINER)
How was that overall, though?
HARRY
Can’t we do any jogging in the water?
MATT (TRAINER)
Not yet, not yet. Eventually, you’ll put a vest on and you’ll do running in the water, yeah, but not yet. I know it’s not running, but it still adds up.
HARRY
Biggest frustration of my life — crying, sobbing, didn’t know what to do with myself, but Matt, he helped me a lot, ’cause we thought let’s try and think about positive edge. How many people have had a year out to rest, literally just resting your muscles? And if we improve all the other stuff that we need to improve, people should be scared of me.
MATT (TRAINER)
I mean, this is the time at which coaches are almost more valuable. When things are going well, it’s all easy. When things are tough is when you really need to see whether you have the tools to turn that– turn that around.
Don’t be lazy in the front. It’s the front that needs to work.
The opportunity to race becomes very unlikely, but it can be very tempting to think, well, maybe we can get a race out this year. Those thoughts have crossed my mind, and certainly Harry has challenged me to keep an open mind about could we race this year. He’s so enthusiastic. He desperately wants to compete. It’s frustrating, more frustrating for him because he’s not able to do the things that he wants to do.
HARRY
If anything, it was a turning point and I’ve learned how to push forward and to never give up hope because, you know, I’ve been blessed with so much talent and I just need to perform and I just need to do what I need to do. You know, it could be a surprise thing where I’m back in a couple weeks or it could be another thing where it takes a couple of months.
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Harry: coping with injury
Case study: Sita’s injury experiences
Sita, aged 26, is an elite level hockey player and a part-time student at university. Sita is no stranger to the injury experience. In the past 12 months she has experienced several hamstring strains and a dislocated shoulder. Her current injury is a Grade II anterior talofibular ligament injury (ankle injury) sustained during competitive match play. When describing what happened immediately before the injury, she said ‘I never saw the challenge coming’. Before the past 12 months, her only experience of injury had been injuries that prevented training and competing for no longer than a week. Sita has also been experiencing some personal problems at home: her father died a year ago and more recently her husband, who is the main breadwinner of the household, has lost his job. She also attends university and has several pieces of coursework that are due in. Sita is very hard-working, but she is struggling with one particular subject.
Sita feels frustrated after sustaining another injury so soon after her shoulder injury. She knows that rehabilitation is likely to take over six weeks and that she will miss several important games. This is causing her to feel very angry. Her team has several players pushing for first team places in her playing position and she is also worried that she will not regain her first team place once rehabilitated. She has told her coach that she will not observe training this week, because it is too painful to watch her teammates train, and that she feels ‘useless’ and is ‘letting them down’ at such a key time in the season. She is frustrated by having to move around on crutches, and daily activities (e.g. carrying a cup of tea from the kitchen to the dining room) have now become a source of stress. This has often caused her to lose her temper and on one occasion she threw the cup in frustration. She is trying to stay positive and focus on her recovery, but is feeling very demotivated and is struggling to push herself to engage fully with her rehabilitation programme. She is having doubts about her ability to recover from the injury and thinks she may be prone to injury in the future.
To help her to cope with the injury, Sita’s physiotherapist recommends that she watches a video of sprinter Harry Aikines-Aryeetey coming to terms with injury. By watching this video she realises that she is not alone in finding injury difficult to deal with, and empathises with the feelings Harry demonstrates in the film. She begins to realise that her own feelings are a typical response to injury and that it is possible to come through the injury in a positive way.
Questions
• a. What are the similarities between Sita’s and Harry’s experiences of injury? (100 words/5 marks)
• b.Discuss how psychological factors could have led to Sita’s injury. (300 words/15 marks)
• c.Using either a cognitive appraisal model or a grief response model, discuss Sita’s psychological reactions to injury, taking into consideration what factors may have led to these reactions and what effect they may have. (400 words/20 marks)
• d.Discuss three possible psychological intervention strategies that could help Sita to cope more effectively with the psychological effects of her injury. (400 words/20 marks)
Part 2
Reflecting on your learning (Units 14–16) (800 words/40 marks)
For this part of the assignment task, you are required to consider one of the optional units in Study Topic 4.
• a.Explain how your study of this unit has helped you to develop new insights into the topic area. (400 words/20 marks)
• b.Discuss the key findings of your chosen journal article and how these findings may apply in a sport and fitness environment. (400words/20 marks)

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