Fear of injury on the return leg of football: risks and solutions

first_imgThe return to training is already here thanks to the de-escalation that the Government has launched. The restart of the competition, on the contrary, continues in the air, at the mercy of the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic and the pacts between clubs and soccer players. The agreements to work individually seem clear. However, there are differences with group training, with the way of doing the tests, with isolation plans in hotels or sports cities and with the solutions if they appear positive. Despite the fact that the CSD has approved a health protocol to gradually restore normality, the players do not have all of them with them and repeat that they will only abide by the Health orders. The reason supported by AFE to go with lead feet focuses on several points: the respect still infused by the data of deaths in Spain (164 yesterday), the fear of contagion or outbreaks, the fear of injury after so much inactivity and the dread over the new isolation, in the form of concentrations (“unconstitutional”, dixit), with the aim of being able to conclude this season. Clubs see it as widespread psychosis. Rather, experts point out that the state of alarm has led to a certain state of panic.AS has consulted five sports psychologists and psychologists working in the elite to shed some light on these concerns and uncertainty. What are the real risks for soccer players and what are the precautions that clubs must undertake. Despite the fact that the elaborated protocol does not include these professionals among the essential personnel to be with the players in person, many specialists are lending their help electronically. Rafael Mateos, researcher in Sports Psychology at the Autonomous University of Madrid, talks about the risk of injuries: “Injuries are a very complex phenomenon, as they are due to different causes. Among them, stress, which can increase the probability of suffering them. In this way, if they are subjected to stressful situations, such as prolonged confinement added to uncertainty about their future or exposure to possible contagion, it is highly likely that the number of injuries will increase. ” In fact, according to a study by the French footballers’ union, where the season has already been canceled, “three out of four players fear injury”, as “they will multiply by six from the second match”. For this reason, Mateos believes that clubs should carry out an exhaustive control of the stress level of each one of their players: “They have to do it using scientifically validated techniques and reduce said stress level in those players who need it during this time, with the In order to improve their coping with the situation and, therefore, minimize the risk of injury. All this under the supervision of a qualified sports psychologist ”.FIFpro, the international players union, notes that during confinement 18% of female players and 16% of professional players reported situations of stress and anxiety. There are other surveys that even point out the growth on symptoms of depression. So, David Peris, president of the Valencian Community Psychology Association, also points out stress monitoring as decisive: “It appears when we perceive a situation as threatening, before which we launch a series of psychological and physiological resources to deal with it. In principle it is adaptive, since it makes us better prepare for a complicated situation, but if we are not able to control it, it generates problems for us due to bad stress. One way to control it is to decrease the perception of threat: if I know what I can do and feel safe in this situation, stress does not appear or I control its responses, so that it does not harm me. The uncertainty that athletes may have regarding what will happen is key ”.Other dangersSeveral consulted professional club doctors support theories that the number of injuries will now skyrocket. As it happened in the NFL in 2011. Then there was a 14-week hiatus, due to a serious labor conflict, and the competition went from having five annual Achilles Tendon breaks, on average, to 12 in the first month back to work, of which 10 were in the first 12 days. “When athletes suffer a high level of stress, problems related to sleep, attention deficit, diet, training appear, there are memory difficulties, increased muscle tension, problems in decision-making and, among other things, increases the risk of injury “ David Peris assures. Alba Villamediana, another psychologist of reference in Spanish sports, considers the work carried out during these two months of confinement to be key. since, in addition, the preseason that begins now will be very peculiar, with a lot of individual training and without friendlies: “Whoever has known how to balance their emotions will benefit. The players who have been able to take advantage of this break as an opportunity will be the ones who will come out with the most resources on the field when this is over. That is, the players who previously stood out physically or technically can be left behind, and it will not always be the one with the best skills, but the one with the most attitude. Fear is an emotion that will accompany the players, like everyone else. And it’s not a bad thing: you just have to know how to collaborate with him and not fight him. Fear is a natural traveling companion and is there to protect players so that they do not exceed their demands, and that this can lead to injury. Coaches have a great responsibility: where to focus their players’ attention so that they cooperate, help each other and focus on daily improvement, until the desired performance can be achieved little by little. ”JESUS ​​SANCHO RODRIGUEZ (SANCHOFOTO) & nbsp; (DIARIO AS) ‘); return false; “class =” item-multimedia “>FOOTBALL 17/18 Ricardo de la Vega, to the right of Seedorf, in his time as a sports psychologist at Deportivo.JESUS ​​SANCHO RODRIGUEZ (SANCHOFOTO) (DIARIO AS) That’s where Ricardo de la Vega is focused with the footballers he works with. The doctor in Psychology in the Autonomous, who went through Rayo, Deportivo and the Cameroon team, sees it like this: “Adaptation at the psychological level to the new situation seems necessary, since the head will play an equal or more important role than the physical. The conditional dimensions, the personality and the motivation will be key to achieve emotional stability, since the one who plays to try to win the League will not be the same as the one who plays to descend. To the general panorama, the soccer players will have to add an added stress and in many cases the frustration. And that there is no money or test that can remedy it. Players will have to adapt to the new scenario, which implies doing it on a cognitive, emotional and behavioral level. The risks would lie in the possible imbalances at these levels due to not optimally accepting and adapting. ” The footballer needs to work in a group and that cannot be achieved, in the best case scenario until June. One more problem to be solved: “Cohesion is essential to perform well individually and as a team. You have to make sense of pre-league confinement first. It must be worth the effort. ‘Why am I confined?’ Then goals should be set in phases, starting with the short term. I must feel that what I do contributes to improve my performance. And then the time must be optimized. It is not only the time of field training that matters. These aspects must be worked on, the leadership and emotional response of the team. ”Finally, Sandra Tabasco, sports and health psychologist, psychologist at PROAD (Sports Aid and Care Program) and CSD, talks about controlling expectations: “How it will affect two months of stoppage to athletes will depend on each individual case and the reality of each and his family. And that will influence how they face the return. Almost always that fear exists, this situation is totally new, it has not consisted of a vacation. We must be careful with the expectations that we generate ourselves and what we think the environment expects from us. You have to work on what depends on you, normalize fear and focus on small individual goals while looking for things that can give you security. It is difficult for them to stay focused exactly as before, it is necessary to be aware that differences can be seen since different thoughts will come into action, the possible fear of becoming infected, the separation from their families, living with uncertainty of what will happen. … Each athlete will be able to focus their attention more on the objectives based on the psychological resources available to them and their own health and that of their relatives. Coaches have a great challenge ahead, fostering and working with the person, not just with the player. Now more than ever it will be necessary to detect and reinforce the motivation and confidence of each one. The players must understand why they return to play and what depends on each one, bearing in mind that the mental and emotional level, apart from the physical one, will be key for the return ”.last_img read more