Predicting Injury in Collegiate Basketball – Is it Possible?

Podium’s Podcast of the Week – An Interview with Jessica Laber: researching contributory factors in predicting injury amongst collegiate basketball players.

by Stephen Walker, PhD, CC-AASP

Laura Finch and Jessica Laber are focused as both athletic trainers and sports scientists on the controversial issues surrounding who is and who isn’t at greatest risk of injury in collegiate sports.  Their research at Southern Illinois University focused on self-esteem, “athletic identity”, social support, explanatory style, life events stress, and gender as they examined these factors in relation to the incidence of injury at the collegiate level.  Using Williams and Anderson’s Stress-Injury Model (1998) they identified a number of interesting relationships that provide for compelling questions to be researched in years to come.

Athletic Identity identifies the degree to which an athlete views themselves and their life within the framework of their sport.  This component in the research conducted by Laber and Finch is an important one that every coach and trainer should understand thoroughly.  The implications on athlete behavior are significant and factor into self-esteem, team play,  and concerns regarding the overall mental health of these athletes.

Perhaps the most compelling aspect of this study is how gender differences may factor into injury outcomes.  This study examines a number of factors potentially linked to injury in sport, and, it endeavors to identify whether these factors may have predictive value in identifying who may be at greatest risk.  Even though we end up with a plethora of questions at the end of this inquiry – certain paradigms for future research are more clearly identified.

Is the magic bullet provided that will tell us how to screen for injury at the beginning of a season?  No.  But the endeavor has great merit and Finch & Laber have done their part by providing a compelling study likely to benefit sports medicine specialists moving forward.

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Click here to listen to the Interview:  AASP – Jessica Labor Interview – Collegiate Basketball Players – Injury Prediction based on Multiple Factors

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