1/6/2011                                         Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi…      A discussion of Youth Sport P...
1/6/2011                                       Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi…       How the child perceives his/he...
1/6/2011                                          Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi…             aspect in the childs ...
1/6/2011                                      Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi…       Kozub, S.A. & Button, C.J. (200...
1/6/2011                                         Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi…       Arousal is said to describe ...
1/6/2011                                      Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi…       sure to be a traumatic experien...
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Occupational therapist, information on sports psychology

  1. 1. 1/6/2011 Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi… A discussion of Youth Sport Participation and Competition by Sally Mackenzie Introduction: Children play sport for fun (Tremayne, 1995). While they are developing in all areas both physically and psychologically, sport can provide an important forum for not only the development of physical skills, but also psychological skills. The sporting arena is an important setting in which children can develop morally. Issues such as winning and losing, team games, fair play, sportsmanship and competition are addressed when playing sport. It has been shown that children enjoy sport when they are with their friends as they are performing a skill and they feel excited by the game (Tremayne, 1995). With regards to sport, children are not miniature adults. There is a difference in their physical structure and abilities, their maturity, psychological abilities and also the reasons for playing sport. As a result, research has been done on how children respond to sport, what influences them and how to further encourage sport as a health way of life. Sport can have both a positive and a negative influence on a childs development. A sport can provide skills development, a sense of enjoyment, affiliation with peers and others, a feeling of success and mastery of a particular skill. The dangers in sport lie in the high risks of contact sports, the intense competitive level and anxiety required by the coaches, and the level of training and expertise of the coaches and teachers sometimes not being adequate (Tremayne, 1995). Why do we see some young children performing so well in the Olympics, and yet other children hate sport? These factors will be discussed, taking into account all the various influences that act upon a childs development in the sporting arena. These include the influence of physical skills, psychological skills and the role of environmental factors, which for the purpose of this discussion include the people who are likely to influence the child, namely peers, coaches and parents. The Acquisition of Motor Skills A child follows a normal pattern of development both physically (influencing the biomechanics of their bodies) and physiologically (influencing their fitness) (Brassen, 1992). Different children develop later, others earlier. Between the age of 6 and 12, motor skill refinement and development are at their peak (Tremayne, 1995). Factors which play an important role in the development of motor skills include the ability to set goals rather than just "do your best", the physical fitness of the child, the ability of the child to manage their body, previous practice and their maturity level (their attention and developmental age) (Tremayne, 1995). Motivation is an important factor which encompasses a feeling of excitement about the sport and a sense of competence, which will be further explored later. Positive reinforcement tends to strengthen the experience and the feedback that a child receives about his/her performance influences his/her motor skill acquisition too. It is also important that children should try and transfer skills from one sport to another, show progression and be able to cope with perceived stress and anxiety (Tremayne, 1995). An interesting factor that has proved to be very influential in the development of motor skills, is that of information processing (Thomas, 1980, in Brassen, 1992). This also develops with age, and at different rates for different children. Information processing includes how much is processed and the speed at which it is processed. Children cannot handle as much information as adults, and they cant handle it as quickly. This takes time to develop. A child who is better able to process instructions, coaching, feedback and previous practice, will learn more quickly and thus improve faster. Prior to the age of 7, a child tend to be overexclusive in their information processing, and will focus on only one or two things exclusively in their environment at the cost of all others. Between the ages of 7 and 11, the child tends to be overinclusive, thus focusing on everything in their environment, not sure of what is important. After the age of 11, children are able to selectively attend to what is important. Brassen (1992, pg: 63) thus concludes that owing to this need for information processing, a child who is pushed or forced to perform at a very high level of performance too soon, "does so in spite of his coaches, not because of them". The Influence of Psychological Factors A child is highly influenced by certain psychological factors. Five will be discussed here. They include self-esteem, competence, competition, the perceived ability of the child and motivation. One should also take into account that these factors mutually affect each other too.sallymackenzie.com/sitev1/infoon.asp… 1/6
  2. 2. 1/6/2011 Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi… How the child perceives his/her abilities, that is, what idea they have about their own competence, determines the level of performance. However, this differs with age. Brassen (1992) describes these differences. Between the ages of 2 and 6, children evaluate their own ability according to adult feedback, how much effort they think they are putting into a task and the simple mastery of the task. Between the ages of 6 and 11, children begin to use more peer evaluation and less parental evaluation, and use concrete measures like scores and trophies to assess their performance. From the of 13 to 18, peer evaluation includes comparing himself/herself to the world of adolescents and finding that they dont match up. At this age, there is more internal evaluation and increasing expectations of their own performance. Interesting research done in a prestigious soccer school in Amsterdam by Van Yperen (1998) showed that how the child determines their own ability (their estimated chance of dismissal from the school) will affect their performance. Dismissal from this school was a yearly occurrence, as students are reselected at the end of every year, with the possibility of dismissal being very foremost of the students minds. This study also highlighted that a childs poor performance in sport may cause psychological health symptoms and this was further related to their estimated chance of dismissal. A childs perceptions of his/her abilities relates closely to competence. Competence is a significant factor in determining performance. Weiss and Duncan (1992), studying children aged 8 to 13 years, showed that the childs perceived and actual competence and ability was strongly associated with peer acceptance. The children with higher peer acceptance, rated themselves higher in physical competence, more successful in sports and their teachers rated them as more athletic and being more stable. Children with lower peer acceptance reflected the opposite. However, gender differences affect studies of competency, as boys have been found to rate the athletic competence as more important and academic competence as less important, whereas for girls, the opposite was true (Weiss & Duncan, 1992). An increase in competence may lead to more wins and higher self-esteem, thus these are also interrelated. Winning or losing has been proven as an influencing factor to team cohesion and thus performance. If the team loses, there is significantly less cohesion, and if the team wins, there is slightly more cohesion. This is particularly true in team sports where the team work together for a common goal (e.g. rugby) as opposed to individuals competing together (e.g. swimming team) (Kozub & Button, 2000). It would make sense that if a child wins, there is more perceived competence and more motivation to continue playing a sport. If the child loses, there is possibly less perceived competence and a higher dropout rate. Thus motivation is another important factor, as motivation is increased when a child uses the skills and enjoys the sport. Thus if a sport is made fun and exciting and the child uses his/her skills, motivation to play sport will increase (Tremayne, 1995). This will further influence self-esteem. The self-esteem of the child will influence their performance. By feeling competent in a task, children feel they have something to offer and this builds their belief that they are worthwhile (Paterson, 1992). If a child feels competent in their sport and have a sense of accomplishment, they are more likely to remain in the sport, and are more likely to feel in control of their progress. Thus it can be seen how self-esteem will also influence their feeling of competence and their perceived ability in their sport. A child who fails in front of a crowd, who doesnt manage to get that winning goal, may suffer humiliation and disappointment, and this will decrease that childs self-esteem and possible demotivate them to continue with that sport (Tremayne, 1995). Children who need physical activity the most, for example learning disabled or overweight children, often do not succeed in a competitive sport and turn to just watching from the sidelines. This will have a further negative impact of their already delicate self-esteem and sense of efficacy in the world (Tremayne, 1995). Environmental factors and the role of Significant Others: Environmental factors include the role of the environment. However, when one examines the environment, it is not so much the playing field or physical setting, but rather the people in that environment. These include the childs parents, peers and coaches. Role models are important in the sporting arena, and could have some influence over the child. a) Peers Peer acceptance is very important especially during teen years. Being a good athlete is one way a child can gain acceptance from peers. This is particularly true for boys where this is seen as a strong social asset in a particular environment (Roberts& Treasure, 1994). b) Parents Some parents never watch their children participate in sport. Does this cause resentment or a sense of freedom from pressure? Some parents punch coaches who foul their children during matches. Do these children feel embarrassed or angry? Some research has investigated the role of the mother and father and whether they differ. Roberts and Treasure (1994) found that parents who were low in ego orientation, showed more concern as to whether their child was accepted as a member of a team. Thus the parents own sporting behaviour and feedback influence the childs attitude and perceptions of the sport (Roberts & Treasure, 1994). In Yperens (1998) research on the soccer school, the supportive role of the parents was seen to be an importantsallymackenzie.com/sitev1/infoon.asp… 2/6
  3. 3. 1/6/2011 Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi… aspect in the childs ability to deal with the stress of failure and dismissal. If the child perceived the parent to be supportive, they would have fewer psychological stress symptoms. In this study there was found to be no difference in perceived maternal and paternal support, although other studies have shown that the fathers support and encouragement is significantly more important to boys. There seems to be a small difference for girls, where the fathers support is only slightly more important that their mothers (Yperen, 1998). Conclusive findings by Colley et al (1992) showed that the role of parents for girls (9 years olds in this study), seemed to be whether their parents were involved and participated in a sport or not. The study also indicated that if girls enjoy boys play activities, they are more likely to participate in sport. There seems to be an association between masculine- stereotyped behaviour such as assertiveness, leadership, aggressiveness and self-reliance and sport participation in both boys and girls. From these research findings, it can be seen that the attitude and behaviour of the parent will influence the childs attitude to their sport. c) Coaches Generally speaking, coaches involved in school sport, often tend to be teachers assigned an afternoon of sport a week, and/or enthusiastic parents who volunteer their time. They may be experienced in doing the sport, but they may have little or no experience in training for it. This lack of knowledge and insensitivity to where children are, developmentally, may make sport an unpleasant experience and ultimately deter children from any sports participation (Tremayne, 1995). Coaches sometimes place undue importance on rewards, winning and competition. The most common reason for children dropping out of sport has been found to be negative factors about the coach. Children often perceive the coach as rigidly authoritarian (Tremayne, 1995). There has been clear information gathered with regards to how children respond at different ages. This has practical implications in training programmes and for coaches, as it helps give adults understanding and the tools needed for optimum encouragement and support in different ways at different ages. For example, a child of 5, needs activities he/she is able to do and can master which thus improves his/her self-esteem. A child of 10 needs realistic feedback, concrete rewards such as certificates and trophies and a reduction in peer feedback. A child of 15 needs continued contingent feedback and fulfilling participation in sport. Contingent feedback is accurate feedback which reflects what is going on in a situation. To increase childrens self-esteem, coaches should be encouraged to use appropriate feedback and reinforcement, to provide optimal challenges for the children, and to develop observational skills themselves in order to be aware of the childrens feelings of low self-esteem (Paterson, 1992). There should be more opportunities for sports psychologists to become involved and encourage psychological training skills programs in schools, to build self-esteem and begin mental training. Moral reasoning is an important concept to explore in the school environment, as our values in society tend to be focused on winning and success, and this is reflected in the increasing competitive nature in sport. Children involved in high contact sports (e.g. rugby) have shown to be more aggressive and have less mature moral reasoning (Tremayne, 1995). Sport has also been shown to take away free play time from children. On the basis of these facts, I personally believe that schools need to formulate a policy in conjunction with sports and developmental psychologists, and physical education teachers whereby the concept of sport, competition and development are challenged. It would be stimulating and informative to run training courses for coaches and parents on the psychological factors which influence performance, moral development through sport and the development of life skills in a sport environment. This could be exciting and stimulating to all involved, and would benefit the children and the school in the long run. Conclusion This paper has covered many aspects of childrens involvement in sport such as motor skill acquisition, psychological factors affecting their performance, and the impact of the people in the childs environment. Sports psychology, using research findings, challenges the everyday practices of sport in schools and their training programmes. These are likely to play an important role in promoting the healthy development of children with regard to sport both psychologically and physically. Reference List: Bressan, E. (1992) Children and Sport. In Readings in Sport Psychology (Ed. Potgieter, J.R.) (pp. 60-67). Institute for Sport and Movement Studies, University of Stellenbosch. Colley, A., Eglington, E. & Elliot, E. (1992). Sport Participation in middle childhood: Association with styles of play and parental participation. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 23, 193-206.sallymackenzie.com/sitev1/infoon.asp… 3/6
  4. 4. 1/6/2011 Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi… Kozub, S.A. & Button, C.J. (2000). The influence of a competitive outcome on perceptions of cohesion in rugby and swimming teams. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 31, 82-95. Paterson, G.D. (1992) Self-esteem in Youth Sport. In Readings in Sport Psychology (Ed. Potgieter, J.R.) (pp. 68-78). Institute for Sport and Movement Studies, University of Stellenbosch. Roberts, G.C. & Treasure, D.C. (1994). Parental goal orientations and beliefs about the competitive sport experience of their child. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24(7), 631-645. Tremayne, P. (1995) Children and Sport Psychology. In T.Morris & J.Summers (Eds.), (pp. 516-537). New York: Wiley & Sons. Van Yperen, N.W. (1998). Being a sport parent; Buffering the effect of your talented childs poor performance on his or her subjective well-being. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 29, 45-56. Weiss, M.R. & Duncan, S. C. (1992). The relationship between physical competence and peer acceptance in the context of childrens sports participation. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 14(2), 177-191. The Elite athlete : stress management, "burn-out" and sport injuries. Introduction: Elite athletes are constantly trying to attain peak performance with intensive training sessions. However, recent research is showing that the health of these athletes is in question and these intense and long training regimes are in fact stressing the body of the athlete and compromising their health. This could lead to chronic fatigue, injury and possibly stress-related illnesses (Martin in Morris & Summers, 1995). Elite athletes are subject to a number of stressors which will be discussed in this paper. The result of these stressors is often overtraining and subsequent burn-out which leads to a longer rehabilitation process or permanent drop-out from that sport. This will also be investigated here. Injuries can have serious psychological implications for elite athletes as they are reliant on their bodies for performance and achieving their goals. Injury is an added stressor and thus both psychologically and physically affects the athletes performance. Thus stress, injury and burn-out are all interrelated and will be looked at in more detail. Stress and Strain in the sport context Everybody uses words such as stress and strain, however, the meaning of the term "stress" has been widely debated over the years (Scott, 1992). Both the objective cause and the subjective effect need to be taken into account, as well as the environmental load and the persons adaptive response to the stress. In some instances, stress can be seen as the physical load (i.e. the cause) and the term strain can be used for the physiological load (i.e. the response) (Scott, 1992). The elite athlete has stressors related to being an elite athlete over and above the normal stressors of the general public. These may include performance anxiety, somatic anxiety, developing a career that allows time for training, producing personal bests, the stresses of travelling and jet lag, time pressures of long training and financial pressures often due to the lack of employment stability and the need for sponsorship (Martin in Morris & Summers, 1995). A study done in 1989 by Scanlan, Ravizza and Stein, investigated the sources of stress in figure skaters. These included competition stressors, traumatic experiences and the demands and costs of skating (Jackson in Morris & Summers, 1995). Also studying figure skaters, Gould, Finch and Jackson (1993) showed that sources of stress were pressure to perform, life direction concerns and psychological demands. Another study on golfers by Cohn in 1990, suggested that parental expectations and playing a difficult shot were major sources of stress (Jackson in Morris & Summers, 1995). Athletes may also have concerns about adjusting to life after a sporting career (Morris & Thomas in Morris & Summers, 1995). This research shows that there is range of stressors affecting athletes. Folkman and Lazarus (1985) describe stress as a transactional process whereby the athletes perceptions of a stress may exceed their coping resources (Kirkby in Morris & Summers, 1995). Martin (in Morris & Summers, 1995) defines "Stress" in the sport context relating to anxiety and arousal, and includes coping abilities, stress symptoms and the cognitive appraisal of a situation. She describes the cognitive appraisal of a situation as, for example, the stress prior to the beginning of a big race as to what the athlete is thinking, whether they think they can win, how well they think they will cope with losing, or the performance during the race. Coping variables seem to be a recurring factor related to stress and in predicting injury, as coping and injury have been linked to stress in various studies (Kirkby in Morris & Summers, 1995). Different kinds of stress are relevant to the athlete. Lifestress includes time and financial pressures, not having a regular income and the effect of their training on home life. Training stress involves the physiological adaptations that the body is required to make over time in response to intense training. Fatigue, Injury and illness may result. Competition stress includes the mental preoccupation and anxiety before an important competition (Martin in Morris & Summers, 1995).sallymackenzie.com/sitev1/infoon.asp… 4/6
  5. 5. 1/6/2011 Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi… Arousal is said to describe a persons alertness. Kirkby (in Morris & Summers, 1995) and Scott (1992) describe the inverted U-curve put forward by Yerkes and Dobson in 1908, that illustrates that levels of arousal that are either too high or too low, tend to impair concentration thus jeopardising performance. There is thus an optimum level of arousal for peak performance. Contrary to this, the Drive theory developed by Hull in 1951, states that as arousal levels increase, so does performance. Social facilitation research has delved into how an athletes performance can change in front of an audience or competitors as their arousal levels change. Factors such as size of audience, perceived support of the audience and ignorance of the audience are seen to affect the arousal levels in the athlete. And experienced athlete may find an audience arousing to an optimum level, where as an amateur make more mistakes, as their arousal level is too high in front of an audience. Thus arousal levels can be appropriately trained to suit events (Pain in Morris & Summers, 1995). Burn-out in athletes In Martins chapter of Morris and Summers (1995, pg 275), she states that "Burn-out, which is characterised by a range of psychological, physical and behavioural symptoms, refers to a state of emotional exhaustion which results from pressures on the athlete or coach which have built up over an extended period of time." They have exhausted their coping resources and strategies in dealing physically and psychologically with the pressures and stressors associated with their sport. Other definitions of burn-out include a lack of accomplishment of ones goals, a chronic reaction to prolonged stress and a negative change in the athletes response to other people (Vealey, Armstrong & Comar, 1998). Causes of burn-out may include severe practice conditions, lack of recovery from competitive stress, extreme physical fatigue, emotional exhaustion and boredom. The most common reason was severe practice conditions and this has been verified by other studies too (Raglin & Morgan, 1989 and Silva, 1990 in Vealey et al, 1998). Results or symptoms of burn-out have been found to include a loss of interest or desire to play the sport, a lack of caring and extreme physical and emotional exhaustion (Vealey et al, 1998). It is thus important for prevention of burn-out to determine who is at risk. Elite athletes who train for many years and do not achieve their goals, often lose drive and energy because they may not achieve. They may withdraw from that sport altogether. Emotional adjustment has also been seen to be an important factor when determining who is effected by burn-out (Martin in Morris & Summers, 1995). Vealey, Armstrong and Comar (1998) did a study on burn-out which showed a significant relationship between athlete burn- out and the perceived coaching styles or behaviour. Coaching styles linked to burn-out included being less empathetic, being more autocratic, giving less praise and emphasising winning (Vealey et al, 1998). These characteristics were also seen to increase the severity of the practice conditions and further more influence burn-out. Thus, how the athlete perceived the coaching style was a significant predictor of that athletes burn-out. Athletes who suffer from burn-out may need time away from their sport to focus on and practice stress management techniques and reassess their goals. Stress management techniques may include progressive muscular relaxation, hypnosis and meditation, massage, thought stopping, visualisation or performance planning (Martin in Morris & Summers, 1995). However, Vealey et al (1998) states that Coakley (1992) warns against some of these techniques as athletes may become over controlled by them, and rather that athletes should learn to understand why they are participating in that sport and how it relates to other aspects of life. There seems to be a delicate balance of what technique and how much of it works for certain athletes, and each athlete should be gently guided to try and experience various techniques to see what works for that individual. The causes and effects of sport injuries on athletes According to Kirkby (in Morris & Summers, 1995) who has done considerable research in the field of sports injuries himself, it is an interesting and concerning trend, that although sports equipment has improved, coaching techniques and medical care has improved, and rules have been altered, there continues to be an escalation of the number of injuries. The subsequent costs of sport injuries are also of concern, particularly in North America and Australia where these trends have been reported. Athletes place utmost importance on the ability of their sound bodies, so the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries are a major issue to all athletes (Potgieter, 1992). Much research has been done in this field investigating what the causes of these injuries are, but much of it seems to have had differing and contradictory results. There are conflicting links between research done on life event stress, personality characteristics and injuries. Emotionally focused coping mechanisms were correlated with the severity of the injury in a study by Kirkby, Kolt and Lindners (1993) (Madden in Morris & Summers, 1995). Mood disturbance and low self-esteem have also been correlated with injury (Madden in Morris & Summers, 1995). Fields, Delaney and Hinkle (1990) report that runners with a type A personality characteristics are more likely to injure themselves, which is backed up by van Mechelens study in 1992 concluding that highly motivated runners are more likely to incur injuries (Kirkby in Morris & Summers, 1995). Injuries and illness can cause the goal of the athlete to be compromised, and thus an added psychological stress may compound the recovery process. Further stress of treatments and pain and the frustration of not being able to compete may also effect the psychological state of the athlete. How the athlete reacts to injury has been likened by some researchers to the grief response of terminally ill people including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. However, this analogy has been criticised as the populations are very different (Kirkby in Morris & Summers, 1995). An athlete can experience denial in the form of intensifying training to prove they are able. They may show anger towards people close to them, or internally as feeling a failure and showing self-destructive behaviour. Depression usually encompasses withdrawal and isolation. Guilt at letting the team or their coach down is also common (Potgieter, 1992). With regards to rehabilitation, an empathetic therapist or coach is seen to be an important factor when dealing with an injured athlete. The therapist or coach should strive to understand the world as is perceived by the athlete. An athlete derives most of his/her enjoyment, feelings of competence and control, and psychological well-being from the sport they are good at. They may also use their sport as a stress release and way of dealing with depression. When that is taken away, due to an injury, it issallymackenzie.com/sitev1/infoon.asp… 5/6
  6. 6. 1/6/2011 Sally Mackenzie, Occupational Therapi… sure to be a traumatic experience with resulting lowered of self-esteem and loss of control. A loss of identity may occur in athletes who derive much of their identities within their sporting career. This explains why athletes once injured may rather choose intense physically discomfort (whilst continuing training) rather than psychological tension, loss of identity, depression and anxiety (Potgieter, 1992). Some injured athletes may also avoid seeing a sports psychologist if they perceive it as a weakness. Another important factor in determining the success of the rehabilitation process is the athletes locus of control. If they believe they are in control of their lives (internal locus) they will have a better prognosis. If they believe their life is determined by fate, luck, chance or other people, they are more likely to feel helpless, and less likely to recover. Generally speaking, athletes have a strong internal locus of control (Potgieter, 1992). In Vernacchias study (2000), the attitude of the athlete is also seen to be an important factor in rehabilitation from injury, even perceiving the injury as an inspiration and overcoming their main obstacle. Maturity of the athlete will influence their attitude to injury which the athletes themselves described as the biggest obstacle in their careers (Vernacchia, McGuire, Reardon & Templin, 2000). Factors which also effect the rehabilitation process include social support, encouragement and the maintenance of normal relationships (Potgieter, 1992). Some athletes may cope well with their injuries and burn-out, however, other may need special attention to help them to adjust psychologically. Kirkby (in Morris & Summers, 1995) and Potgieter (1992) describe an interactional model by Andersen and Williams (1988) hypothesising that the cause of injury is from the potentially stressful situations, the cognitive appraisal of the situation, physiological and attentional responses and the potential injury outcome itself. Moderating factors include a history of stressors, interaction of coping resources, and personality factors. This model has provided a stimulus for other researchers to test this hypothesis. Conclusion: As this paper has highlighted, it is difficult to draw any concrete evidence as to exactly what the criteria are for someone who is at risk for injury or burn-out, as the research done in this field is often contradictory and has methodological difficulties, such as small sample size, retrospective collection and relatively low stress levels (Kirkby in Morris & Summers, 1995). Research has shown that there are links between the levels of stress in an athlete and the chances of burn-out and injury. Stress, burn-out and injury seem to be linked in a circular causality. That is, the direction of the relationships of these processes is unclear, and although stress may cause injury, and injury may in turn cause more stress, the stress of not achieving goals may cause burn-out and burn-out as a physical symptom may cause injury and further stress. Stress and anxiety may cause more muscle tension which may lead to decreased flexibility and the increase risk of injury. Stress may also lead to impaired concentration which may then jeopardise avoiding potential situations that may cause injury. Fatigue may also cause a decrease in co-ordination and thus increase the risk of injury. (Kirkby in Morris & Summers, 1995). This circular causality of relationships makes research complex. Whilst investigating factors influencing an athletes performance, this paper has covered topics of stress, burn-out and injury and touched on the interwoven nature of the three. Each athlete is unique and thus even the same factor (e.g. the same knee injury in a long distance runner) would affect two athletes differently. It is beneficial for athletes to be made aware of these factors in order to prevent stress, burn-out and injury. References: Morris, T. & Summers, J. (1995). Sport Psychology: Theory, applications and issues. New York: Wiley & Sons. Potgieter, J.R. (1992) in Readings in Sport Psychology (Ed. Potgieter, J.R.) Psychological Aspects of Sports Injuries. Institute for Sport and Movement Studies, University of Stellenbosch. Scott, P. (1992) in Readings in Sport Psychology (Ed. Potgieter, J.R.) Stress and Performance. Institute for Sport and Movement Studies, University of Stellenbosch. Vealy, R.S., Armstrong, L., Comar, W. (1998). Influence of perceived coaching behaviours on burnout and competitive anxiety in female college athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 10, 297-310. Vernacchia, R.A., McGuire, R.T., Reardon, J.P. & Templin, D.P. (2000).Psychosocial characteristics of Olympic track and field athletes. International Journal of Sport Psychology, 31, 5-23. Sally Mackenzie; 51 Wilson Str, Knysna, 6571. B.Sc.Hons Occupational Therapy (University of Cape Town), B.Sc.Hons Psychology (University of South Africa), Sensory Integration Trained (South African Institute of Sensory Integration), Diploma of Therapeutic Massage (De Villiers Institute) phone/fax: +27 (0)44-384 1536sallymackenzie.com/sitev1/infoon.asp… 6/6