Sports psyche: Crying when injured

In the past year, I’ve seen two kids I really care about break down in tears when they get injured during a game. In each instance the injury turned out to be minor, and they were able to return to the court after sitting for some minutes. But it was pretty scary for a little bit.

Being heavily into sports psychology, this got me wondering why some kids cry in injury and some don’t. I’m not finding anything online that’s helpful at all. But I theorize that those who get upset are usually the kids who tend to take things personally and/or have lower self-confidence and/or self-esteem. I’m interested in what others have read or studied, though.

Why do some kids get upset in the face of an injury?



  1. first off it may just be the pain factor; everyone has a different threshold. then, perhaps they're just flat out scared that all their hard work and dedication is about to be for naught. and finally, some folks are just criers. its a way to release tension. personally, i don't see any deep-seated psychological esteem issues involved.

    cheers, mate!


  2. Yeah, but why would people cry at pain? Some people do and some people don't – what's the difference?

    The "being scared" one was one of my first thoughts, too.

    Neither kid is a crier at all.

  3. A local college coach that I know just emailed me. He said it might be fear of injury. And an athlete's mental toughness and inner strength, or lack of, may also be it – or at least form a backdrop.

    I agree.