Perception of Athletic Trainer’s Social Support During an Athlete’s Injury

Alexa Pellack, Georgia College & State University


Objective Psychological support for an athlete is equally as important as physiological support when it comes to injury recovery. The purpose of this research was to determine if athletic.trainers feel comfortable and equipped to provide social support for athletes during injury recovery and understand athletic trainers’ views on sports psychology course offerings within an accredited athletic training program. Design A 16 questions Qualtrics survey with 4 demographic questions, 7 yes/no questions, and 5 scaled questions (1 = least comfortable to 4 = most comfortable) was used. Participants 29 certified athletic trainers, recruited via convivence and snowball sampling met inclusion criteria participated (21 females, 8 males). Data Analysis Data analyzed using a paired samples t-test in SPSS. Results Male respondents were more likely to think that social support was being taught well in their programs, and female respondents were more likely to think that more content should be taught on social support. There was a significant difference between participants who took a sports psychology class and participants who thought athletic training students could benefit from a sports psychology class (t(28)=-4.446, p<.001). Respondents with bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees felt more prepared on the topic of social support than those with doctorate’s degrees (F(2,26)=7.621, p<.05). Conclusions Most respondents indicated that athletic trainers are a form of social support for athletes, and integrating a sport psychology course into an athletic training curriculum would be beneficial to students in preparation to provide social support to athletes. Discussion The findings in this study align with the literature: athletic trainers are a good social support medium for athletes. This study also shows that sports psychology classes benefit athletic trainers and that they should be a part of a student athletic trainer’s curriculum. The different degree levels show a difference in perception of psychology in sports.