Title

Elite Sports People: An Investigation of the Impact of Occupational Role Change Caused by Injury

Presenter Information

Rosemary Joan Gowran
Mark Ruddle

Start Time

6-10-2006 12:50 PM

End Time

6-10-2006 1:55 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

There are many challenges faced by elite sports people throughout their career, but injury is recognized as being the most difficult to come to terms with. Injury is recognized to cause the loss of a highly valued role, the physically constraint of an important mode of expression and uncertainty about return to competition for athletes. Additionally, it can undermine the athlete’s sense of identity, self-esteem and social milieu. Role loss or transition, such as that caused by sporting injury, can be described as a discontinuity in a person’s life space. This paper will report on the results of qualitative research from a grounded theory perspective with elite hockey players. In depth interviews with six elite Irish hockey players who had experienced a career threatening injury were completed. Analysis revealed that the loss of the athlete role impacted on the participant’s lives in a number of ways. Seven themes emerged to elucidate this impact, and included; the gap left by sport, isolation of injury, keeping busy, sporting selves, on the outside, who really cares, and gaining perspective. This research illuminates the lived experience of occupational role changes for elite athletes following injury, and adds to the research body on the complex relationship between engagement in meaningful occupation and wellbeing.

Comments

This abstract/proposal was accepted into the conference, but was not presented.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 6th, 12:50 PM Oct 6th, 1:55 PM

Elite Sports People: An Investigation of the Impact of Occupational Role Change Caused by Injury

There are many challenges faced by elite sports people throughout their career, but injury is recognized as being the most difficult to come to terms with. Injury is recognized to cause the loss of a highly valued role, the physically constraint of an important mode of expression and uncertainty about return to competition for athletes. Additionally, it can undermine the athlete’s sense of identity, self-esteem and social milieu. Role loss or transition, such as that caused by sporting injury, can be described as a discontinuity in a person’s life space. This paper will report on the results of qualitative research from a grounded theory perspective with elite hockey players. In depth interviews with six elite Irish hockey players who had experienced a career threatening injury were completed. Analysis revealed that the loss of the athlete role impacted on the participant’s lives in a number of ways. Seven themes emerged to elucidate this impact, and included; the gap left by sport, isolation of injury, keeping busy, sporting selves, on the outside, who really cares, and gaining perspective. This research illuminates the lived experience of occupational role changes for elite athletes following injury, and adds to the research body on the complex relationship between engagement in meaningful occupation and wellbeing.