chapter  38
10 Pages

Death of a teammate

ByRuth Anderson

It is inevitable that the tragic circumstances that occur in life will also occur in sport, and sport psychologists may play pivotal roles when working with teams to ensure athletes’ psychological needs are addressed on and off the sporting field. The death of a teammate is not a situation commonly discussed within sport or in the sport psychology literature. Perhaps to some it seems an unlikely scenario; however, as with all tragic situations, it often happens when it is least expected, and the effects can be far reaching. Death is a reality of life, and the death of an athlete will have a profound and lasting influence on any sporting team. Deaths in sport will occur, and it is important to be adequately prepared to support a team in managing the diverse and complex issues that will arise when a teammate dies (Buchko, 2005; Vernacchia, Reardon, & Templin, 1997).