Free Support Group Forming at University of Rochester for Injured High School and College Athletes

February 20, 1997

An injured athlete experiences both physical pain and emotional stress. While traditional medical treatment can address the physical injuries, there is little available to help the athlete and his/her parents address the emotional stress that accompanies an injury. For example, will an athlete's self-esteem and identity be forever undermined if he or she can no longer play?

A new program at the University of Rochester -- Athletes Helping Athletes/L.E.A.P.: Linking Empowerment, Attitude and Performance -- will now provide psychological and emotional support for the injured college or high school athlete.

The free program meets weekly on Wednesday nights from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. for six sessions beginning on March 5th and running through April 9 at the University of Rochester, Bausch & Lomb Building, room 269.

Organized as a support group, the new program will enable injured athletes and their parents to share their experiences and express their emotional needs and concerns as well as discuss issues such as identity and self-esteem with other injured athletes in a cohesive, supportive environment.

Conducting the program are Gretchen Bush, assistant field hockey coach at the University of Rochester and a masters degree student in counseling and human development at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education and Human Development, and Alan Peppard, a physical therapist and certified athletic trainer with University Sports Medicine.

The program is free and open to high school and college athletes recuperating from an injury; parents are also invited to attend. Participants must register in advance with name, address, and phone number by calling Gretchen Bush in the University of Rochester Department of Sports and Recreation at (716) 275-4274 or sending her an E-mail (

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