“‘This concept is not always welcomed with open arms in the sports community where athletes are taught to be tough,’ said Dr. Stanley A. Herring, chairman of the consensus statement committee, a team physician for the Seattle Seahawks and a consultant to the University of Washington’s sports medicine department. ‘But you can’t tough your way through mental issues.'”

But, as Wadyka asks, “stress is an omnipresent problem…. So why, one may argue, isn’t every athlete collapsing to the ground?” She continues:

“While the research has shown a consistent connection between significant negative life events — the end of a relationship, a death in family, the loss of job, failing in school — and the increased risk of injury, the key isn’t so much the stressful event itself, but how a person handles it.

‘One man’s stress is another man’s vacation,’ Dr. Herring said. ‘Those at risk are the ones whose stress exceeds the resources they have to cope with it.'”

Wadyka goes on to report on several of the explanations for how stress leads to injuries, the importance of screening and recognizing athletes at risk, and finally, the implementation of some stress-management techniques.


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