Injury in Athletics: Coaches' Point of View

There are numerous causes and a variety of physical, behavioral and psychological consequences of athletic injuries. Coaching errors are commonly cited as one of the major causes of athletic injuries. Generally speaking, there are two types of coaching styles that make a tremendous impact on the physical and psychological atmosphere in the training/ competition environments. As identified by Greg Louganis, three time Olympic Champion, the first one is judgmental and critical, which is characterized by the situation when coaches are trying hard (maybe with good intention) to identify as much error in performance as possible, then present these errors in a critical manner. “You are not listening…, how many times have I told you to keep your eyes on the ball…, you are still not doing that…, you’ll never get this, why don’t you try to play golf instead…,” to name just a few examples of this coaching style. It could be expected that tremendous tension can be anticipated in the coach-athlete relationship over time. Inevitably, the breaking point will be reached and the relationship will end due to a deficient coaching style. (Personal communication with Greg Louganis, 2007 US Diving National Training Camp, Indianapolis, Ind.)

The second style of coaching is characterized by the atmosphere where the coaches observe and assess an athlete’s performance, with the intention to identify both progress and still existing errors in performance. “Good effort…, right direction to think…, you should feel better than yesterday…, keep trying.., still losing contact with the ball…,” to name just a few comments within this style of coaching. Not surprisingly, this second coaching style creates an extremely positive learning/training environment benefiting both the physical and mental well-being of the athletes.


Female Athlete Sport Participation Elite Athlete Collegiate Athlete Sport Psychologist 
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