Looking back on the person I was not long ago, the person aspiring to represent NSW in athletics and soccer I marvel at the challenges I have overcome. The impact of severe anterior tibia stress fractures stopping me short of my goals and aims has marked a significant milestone in discovering my self identity and confidence. The experiences, hardships and emotions I went through spurred the question… What happens to an elite athlete’s identity when a major agent of socialisation, in my case sport, is completely restricted?
There are four main areas of research that I will need to investigate; the impact a major injury has on a person’s personal and social identity, the impact a major injury has on a person’s goals and visions, what changes does it bring about in their culture, way of life and environment, the impact a major injury has on the person’s surrounding family and friends.
Through researching these areas I aim to further better the assessment of seriously injured sportsmen psychologically and more effectively rehabilitate them in all areas of their lives.
This topic and thesis relates to various concepts of society and culture. Society, as athletes have a place in society generating competition and entertainment for the society and helping build our national pride. Environment, as the emotional wounds of an athlete can be healed and dreams can be restored as change in their environment occurs. Persons, as each elite athlete will react differently to sustaining a career threatening injury.
The topic also relates to one’s personal self identity and self, it relates to person’s social identity and other socialisation factors in one’s life that make them who they are. Athletes have external factors that make them who they are such as family, friends and coaches; all building their social identity. The event of an injury can greatly determine the future outcome of a person’s goals, visions and identity.
It is an elite athlete’s physical and...
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