December 1, 2017
We get it. Injuries aren’t fun. It’s not fun tearing an ACL, breaking a bone or getting a sprain.
These kinds of injuries usually shelve athletes for at least a month or more. It’s inevitable at some point. Every athlete will experience some form of injury on a daily basis whether it be a bone bruise or a stubbed toe. Here’s what you should do when you’re down with an injury.
It’s only one body part.
Sure, you got a busted leg. But you have the rest of the body to work on. I’m using the busted leg as an example from my experience here. I broke a leg playing baseball, and I had a meeting with one of the coaches. He asked me how long I’ll be out, and so on. I said at least a month. I somehow implied that I wouldn’t be doing any lower body exercises because of the broken leg. Then I was asked this: “How many legs do you have?” which I answered with “two.” “Are both of them broken,” he said. To which I replied, “No.” “Then train that other leg,” he said.
So, I ended up doing all the different kinds of exercises, single leg squats, extensions and such. I had to constantly keep moving and training all the other body parts. My upper body and single leg strength skyrocketed during that time. You might be on the shelf, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. You have to find a way.
Stay around your teammates.
The injured people are easily forgotten. Usually when someone goes down, they’re out. Out of sight. Out of the picture. This is where you can prove your leadership, where you can continue attending practices, games, cheering on your teammates, and being there for everyone. You’re still a part of the team although you’re not on the starting line-up. Stick around. They’ll notice.
You might not be able to physically compete in your sport. But you can play…in your head. Visualize yourself doing drills, making the plays and celebrating victories with your fellow teammates. I’ve seen injured athletes sit on the bench and in the stands, close their eyes, and visualize the entire game unfolding before their eyes. This is an incredible opportunity for self-talk. You can practice your breathing techniques, your game-day routine, test your makeup, and keep yourself razor sharp. Once you’re cleared to hit the field and rock, you’ll be more than ready.