Purpose: The main purpose of the study was to evaluate a psychological skills training intervention at group level aiming to prevent injuries, separated in traumatic and overuse, in male and female elite floorball players.
Methods: Twenty-three teams in the premiere leagues for males and females were volunteered, and the teams were allocated to an intervention group (n = 11, males n = 94, females n = 99) and a control group (n = 12, males n = 109, females n = 99). The teams in the intervention group participated in a psychological skills training programme consisting of six meetings with each team. The control group received no substitute. All injuries were registered and documented according to the time-loss definition and classified into either traumatic or overuse.
Results: In total, 142 players (35 %) out of the 401 players sustained 197 injuries, 0.49 injury/player: in the intervention group 0.45 injury/player and in the control group 0.53 injury/player. The analyses revealed no significant differences in injuries between intervention groups and control groups. The effect size of the influence of the psychological skills training in overuse injuries was considered to be small, Cohen's d 0.2.
Conclusions: This study comprised the whole team for a group intervention and did not screen for at-risk athletes, e.g. scoring high in anxiety or low in coping skills, which might have influenced the result. A psychological injury prevention intervention forward to a whole team might not influence the injury occurrence significantly. Thus, this psychological intervention decreased the injury incidence which is of clinical interest.
Level of incidence: Level II.
Keywords: Athletic injury; Behaviour; Psycho-education; Sport; Team.