Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2024

Document Type

Research Paper


Whittier Scholars Program

First Advisor

Kevin Choe


Traumatic injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears, shoulder dislocations, and concussions influence athletes' confidence. There are various emotional responses to injury and the rehabilitation process which can influence recovery and the athlete’s ability to confidently succeed at the collegiate level. The two purposes of this study are to assess how traumatic injuries in high school affects an athlete’s confidence as they transition to collegiate athletics and to assess how a traumatic injury influences athlete’s recruitment process. The average confidence to succeed at the collegiate level before suffering a traumatic injury was 8.2 ± 1.92 and significantly decreased to 5.3 ± 2.14 (p < 0.001) post-injury. The average likeliness a coach would recruit an athlete during ACL recovery was 5.5 ± 3.45 and increased to 8.33 ± 1.97 (p = 0.008) post-recovery. Additionally, the average likeliness a coach would recruit an athlete still recovering from a shoulder dislocation injury was 6.33 ± 3.01 and increased to 8.5 ± 1.05 (p = 0.032) post-recovery. Furthermore, the average likeliness a coach would recruit an athlete in the process of recovery from a concussion was 8.83 ± 0.98 increased to 9.67 ± 0.52 (p = 0.021) post-recovery. Overall, results suggest that regardless of the injury, athletes’ confidence to succeed at the next level will decrease after injury and an athlete is more likely to be recruited once they have fully returned to sport. This study shows how traumatic injuries can negatively affect athletes psychologically and how important it is for coaches and recruiters to understand the stages of recovery they go through in order to fully support the athlete before entering college.