Table 2

Themes, subcodes and exemplary quotes on injury prevention behaviours

Main themeSubcodeExemplary quote
Injury definitionImpact on performance and dealing with painAthlete 01: “For me, it is when I cannot perform anymore.”
Manager 02: “For me, an injury is when the athlete cannot perform as he usually does and cannot perform at his best”.
Physical therapist 02: “A sports injury stops the athlete from practising or playing.”
Athlete 06: “For me, when I have pain, I am not injured because I can keep going.”
Medical doctor: “The problem with high-level sports and pain is difficult, because when you practice sport at a high level it is usual that you have pain during your training and so on.”
Coach 01: “I think that every professional player plays hurt, with a knee, ankle, neck or muscles. I think that is normal. It is a habit. It is normal to play with that.”
Coach 02: “I think for the professional player it is the worst thing.”
Injury prevention strategiesPhysiotherapist’s roleAthlete 03: “I think that if I am not doing (going to the physio) that I have more chance to have an injury or not to be able to perform at my best.”
Athlete 05: “It is him (physiotherapist) who explained to me, he knows my body for many years, and he knows what I need to work on or if I get pain there, he says “you should do this or that”. Then, these exercises are to help it for sure.”
Multiple criteria for injury prevention measuresPhysical therapist 02: “I think respecting the experience of the players and also the literature to follow-up.”
Athlete 01: “Mainly what makes me feel good. So, you know, throughout the years you’ve been working with so many different people,(…)but then you go on your own, and you find somebody in the area and like from every person you take, I took something or sometimes nothing.(…)Then you try that and then see, ok, this feels good. It is really a little bit my own research I had to do to get where I am.”
Athlete 06: “So, actually, I am just following his advice (physiotherapist) because I felt good.”
Marginal gainsMedical doctor: “I think that there are so many parameters to take into account, especially for professional or high-level sportsmen because they sometimes need nearly nothing to win the gold, and sometimes there are only a few things to improve their performances.”
Manager 01: “But we are looking at marginal gains. Marginal gains mean everything.(…)We try to limit those risks as much as possible.”