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Question 5

Analyse the considerations that regulate when an athlete returns to play after an injury. Provide examples from a sport of your choice.

The considerations that regulate when an athlete is able to return to play after an injury includes indicators or readiness to return to play, monitoring progress, psychological readiness, specific warm up procedures, return to play policies and procedures as well as ethical considerations. It is imperative that an athlete’s injury has recovered, their fitness and skills are close to pre-injury levels and also that their confidence in their injury is 100%.

Training pain free and having full mobility return to the injured site are clear indicators of readiness for return to play. In order to measure an athlete’s readiness after returning from an injury they must go through various physical tests to test their fitness and basic skills needed to perform in their sport. For example, a netballer returning from an injured ankle would be tested on her agility through drills including side stepping and dogging. Her match fitness could be tested in a practice game situation at training provided she is pain free and has complete mobility.

Monitoring progress through both pre-tests and post-tests is essential to an athletes recovery in order to determine if they have or have not gained the necessary fitness and skills after injury. Ongoing tests, discussions between athlete and physio, visual observations of the athlete and video footage are all means which may be used to appropriately measure the athlete’s progress. Thus, appropriate pre and post tests can significantly help trainers to evaluate and develop particular training programs that will help to athlete return to play quicker after an injury. E.g A swimmer could monitor their progress of an injured arm by measuring the range of movement pre and post training.

An athlete’s psychological can be effectively measured by discussions between the athlete, coach...
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