Under the Mentorship of Dr. James Metcalf, I am looking at the relationship between injuries and stress in student-athletes at George Mason University. By utilizing the POMS and PSS evaluation methods, I am looking to see if there is a difference in stress experienced by student-athletes who are injured and those who are not injured.
I first became interested in my research topic as a freshman when I experienced an injury that kept me out of competition for the majority of the season. After speaking with some of my peers who have experienced similar situations, I began to realize that our day-to-day lives were affected dramatically by our injuries. No longer being able to participate in the sport we have dedicated so much time to, not being able to exercise at the same intensity as we have become accustomed to, and missing out on the social aspect of team bonding during practice and competition are just a few of the common themes we all seemed to notice having an impact on our daily lives.
I then began to wonder if consequent these circumstances, our mental health, was being adversely affected. While countless hours are spent in the training room rehabbing injuries to get athletes back in competition, there are little to no resources provided by the athletic department to insure that the mental health of the athlete is cared for as much as the physical injury.
While my project is still in the early stages of development, I hope to bring light to the issue of mental health in athletics, specifically, in student-athletes here at George Mason University. I would like to see more mental health resources made available to student-athletes, especially those who have endured an injury that has limited their participation in their sport.
Eventually, I would like to see these resources as easily accessible and utilized as often as grabbing an ice bag after practice.