Social support and recovery from sport injury: elite skiers share their experiences

Res Q Exerc Sport. 2001 Dec;72(4):376-88. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2001.10608974.


Research suggests that social support can be an important coping resource for athletes recovering from sport injury. Few studies have investigated this claim, however. To address this gap in the literature, 10 elite downhill skiers who had recovered from serious sport injuries were interviewed about the sources of stress associated with injury and the role of social support in recovery from sport injury. This paper presents the social supportfindings that emergedfrom this research'. Content analyses of the social support data revealed that the skiers needed various types of emotional, informational, and tangible support from the occurrence of injury through the return to full activity. Members of the treatment team, the ski team, and the skiers' home support net works provided social support throughout these phases. In general, the skiers were satisfied with the support received, indicating that it reduced distress and kept them motivated throughout recovery. The findings from this research have implications for the design of sport injury interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / psychology*
  • Athletic Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recovery of Function
  • Skiing / injuries*
  • Social Support*