“Back in the fight” – the Injured Basic Combat Training Soldier

Treva Anderson, Comprehensive Soldier & Family Fitness Performance and Resilience Enhancement Program, USA

Theme: Injury/trauma/rehabilitation

Program ID: LEC-01A

Presentation: October 2, 2013 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Room: Belle Chasse


The US Army basic training environment is often challenging for any recruit. Soldiers are occasionally faced with an additional challenge in the form of a significant injury during training. Whereas athletes sit the bench to recover, soldiers injured during basic training are sent to heal at the Fitness Training Company (FTC) Physical Training and Rehabilitation Program (PTRP). This process can take 60 – 120+ days to recover and when successful recovery is achieved, the soldier returns to duty (RTD). Sport psychology consultants often work with injured athletes to enhance the recovery process and assist in cognitive reframing of the injury. Our work with PTRP mirrors the services that might be available to an athlete and are based on the psychology of sport injury literature. This presentation will discuss methodologies and best practices as well as present results training has had on the RTD rate. Services include providing goal setting instruction, group education classes and meeting with soldiers on an individual basis. Individual sessions are with soldiers identified by leadership as needing coaching in regards to the mental aspect of recovery, and may be experiencing challenges coping with the stressors the injury brings on. Sessions are solution focused and center around setting goals for recovery, thinking effectively to facilitate lowering stress and building confidence, focusing attention on healing, as well as the use of motivational and healing imagery. These soldiers are often recovering from an injury that could be related to a sedentary lifestyle. For this reason, goals are tailored toward lifestyle changes that will maximize physical, mental, and emotional well being for life. These services combined with resilience education have enabled the return to duty rate to be maintained at 93% for this FTC, which is significant compared to the RTD rates of three other FTC locations (range of 54%-78%).

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