Table 4

Main codes and related quotes on the theme ‘Communication is a key component of sports injury prevention’

Athletes should be open about pain and injuries ‘I think when I was younger, I always did what my coach said to do and when I became older, and I had more experience in elite sports, I also started to talk more with my coach. Like the hours that I really need, or maybe that it’s too much for my body and now I can think for myself better.’ Athlete 5
‘(in the case on my previous injury)I think I should have communicated my problem a little bit earlier than I did.(…) If I communicating well with him(coach), he could make some adjustments in the programme that could spare my shoulder a little bit.’ Athlete 6
‘But the problem is, being honest to yourself and with your environment. If you have a little pain in your calf or your hamstrings, and you think ‘it will go away’ and you don’t talk about and you just go and give it all. The injuries happen… it’s hard to prevent.’ Coach 1
Open communication between coach and athlete ‘It comes down to the communication, if I’m very tired and feel that I can’t do anymore. I probably tell him and if he(coach) doesn’t listen to me, then it becomes his problem, well, his affair that I might have something with my shoulder.’ Athlete 8
‘He needs (the coach) to listen to the players, because. I have the feeling that the coaches are looking to you all the time and ok, when I look tired, he want me to start at 11. I’m not safe to say that I’m over trained. Or, you know… you are not showing your vulnerability. I think when a coach creates a safe place, when you are risk in that week, if you are tired and you say that you are really tired or stressed out. And if the coach takes that seriously and you feel safe to say that you are tired, I think this is also an important factor.’ Athlete 3
‘If they say: ‘I’m tired from the last week or from the yesterday practice’, I say, take it easy, slow down. So it’s always trying to communicate.’ Coach 3
The staff needs to communicate and share decisions ‘The main factor that defines a team's success is communication. One of the main factors: between members of the technical committee, between committee members and athletes, between committee members and club directors, among athletes. Communication has to be very well done, it has to be very broad, it has to be open to everyone.’ Physiotherapist 2
‘Communication is key in this whole thing. So like I said, spreading the same message is really important. It would be very detrimental to the process if the doctor says something different than the coach. So we need to have clear guidelines, which will be followed by each team member.’ Coach 4
‘I really think that it (injury prevention) needs to be a team effort. Because the coach has to see in the training if you are fit or not and he has the responsibility to take you out of training, even if you want to train. Myself, I have to watch my body and make smart decisions and also, the physio who has to tell what things I should do, if I should take a rest for something. So it’s a team effort.’ Athlete 7