Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences


Sport and Exercise Psychology

Committee Chair

Edward Etzel


Since the response to injury is both physical and psychological (e.g., Brewer & Cornelius, 2003; Wiese-Bjornstal, Smith, Shaffer, & Morrey, 1998), numerous researchers have advocated using psychological interventions in conjunction with physical therapy to optimize an athlete's recovery from injury. No empirical study has examined how to craft a mental skills intervention for injured athletes from initial post-injury assessment. The purpose of the present study was to explore injured athletes' experiences with a multimodal mental skills intervention to gain insight into how to create a mental skills plan for rehabilitation from initial post-injury assessment. Single subject and qualitative methodology were utilized. Six participants completed the approximately eight week study in which participants learned four mental skills: (1) goal setting; (2) relaxation; (3) imagery; and (4) managing self-talk. Using an ABCA or ACBA design, the impact of the interventions on the following eight variables was examined: (1) self-reported use of mental skills; (2) perceived effectiveness of mental skills; (3) satisfaction with mental skills interventions; (4) self-efficacy for rehabilitation; (5) self-efficacy for return to sport; (6) adherence; (7) attitude; and (8) speed of recovery. Participants showed varied responses to the mental skills interventions and reported several positive physical and psychological outcomes of using the mental skills. Participants demonstrated little change in self-efficacy for rehabilitation and return to sport, adherence, attitude, and speed of recovery over the course of the study, as most participants scored high throughout the study on these measures. Sport psychology consultants and future researchers may want to explore other post-injury assessment methods and choose less than four mental skills to focus on for a mental rehabilitation program with injured athletes. Athletic trainers can also incorporate simple mental techniques in rehabilitation to help athletes achieve positive outcomes.