Overuse injuries are a serious problem in junior tennis. Gaining insight in age-specific risk factors can contribute to prevention. The developmental cognitive processes that take place during adolescence make talented players more inclined to take risks. This may be even more pronounced in the high performance culture in which they move. Therefore, this study focuses on the relationship between risk-taking and overuse injuries in talented tennis players. Seventy-three talented tennis players (45 boys and 28 girls, age 11-14years) were monitored for 32weeks, using the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre Questionnaire on Health Problems. Risk-taking was measured at the start of the season with the Iowa Gambling Task. Linear regression analyses were executed to predict (a) overuse injuries, (b) time loss overuse injuries and (c) overuse severity, by risk-taking, exposure time, and injury history. In boys, risk-taking contributed significantly to time loss overuse injuries [F(1,39) = 7.764, P = 0.008, R-2 = 0.15] and to overuse severity [F(1,39) = 5.683, P = 0.022, with an R-2 of 0.13] In girls, time loss overuse injuries [F(1,23) = 6.889, P = 0.018, R-2 = 0.20] and overuse severity [F(1,23) = 7.287, P = 0.013, R-2 = 0.24] were predicted by exposure time. Coaches and trainers should be aware that talented male tennis players who are inclined to take risks, are more likely to maintain risky behavioral patterns related to overuse injuries.
Talented athletes use metacognitive skills to improve their performance. Also, it is known that these skills are important for managing one's health. The goal of this study was to identify the relationship between metacognitive skills and overuse injuries in talented tennis players. Metacognitive skills were measured in 73 talented tennis players (45 boys and 28 girls, age 11-14) at the start of the season, using the Self-Regulation of Learning Self-Report Scale. Overuse injuries were monitored for one season using the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre Questionnaire on Health Problems. Ordinal regression indicated that moderate or low selfmonitoring skills (compared to high selfmonitoring) (OR 4.555, CI 1.096-18.927, P = 0.037) and exposure time (OR 1.380, CI 1.106-1.721, P = 0.004) were associated with more time loss overuse injuries. A second analysis showed that this was the case in girls (OR 10.757, CI 1.845-62.714, P = 0.008), but not in boys. Linear regression revealed that higher reflection scores and exposure time predicted overuse severity (F(5,58) = 2.921, P = 0.020, R2 = 0.201). Possibly, selfmonitoring can help players to prevent themselves from time loss overuse injuries. Coaches should be aware that players can differ in selfmonitoring ability and thus in the ability to prevent overuse injuries. The role of reflection needs more research.