No matter what sport you’re involved in, injuries happen. Sure some sports may be more high-risk activities such as motorsports (i.e. motocross), base jumping, mountain climbing, etc. but injuries happen in every sport no matter how experienced you are. Injuries can be life threatening, overwhelming, and completely disheartening. However, your mindset about the injury will dramatically impact your response, treatment, and recovery.
“An injury can be a permanent setback or a gift. It’s all in how you look at it and how you respond. It’s your choice. Choose wisely.”
First – if you’re in pain, own it and recognize it! Stop and ask yourself if pushing through this pain (not soreness or fatigue) is really worth it. Be realistic and honest with yourself while reviewing your goals – is pushing through a random workout, in pain, going to get you closer or farther away from your goals?
Second – get evaluated ! If you’re having persistent pain that does not go away after a week and some rest, it’s time to get checked out. Having a professional doctor or trainer check you out can give you some answers instead of playing a guessing game and being your own guinea pig. The quicker you get evaluated, the quicker you can be on the re-bound.
Thirdly – follow through with recommended care, such as physical therapy, rest, ice, etc. Although physical therapy may seem tedious, boring, and like a waste of time, it can greatly improve your range of motion and your form!
Fourth – follow through with recommended workout plan. For instance, if your doctor tells you to avoid certain movements, DO IT. Also, what can be a huge help is asking what you CAN do, while also being aware of what you CANNOT do.
Lastly – inform your coach(es) and trainers, if you have one. Letting them know about your injury can help you be accountable, provide support, and an alternate exercise regime while you’re recovering. Informing others of your injury, you can get a great amount of support and experience from other athletes. It is likely that you are not the first to have your type of injury so reach out to those you trust and they can provide their own stories to help give you perspective.
To help you have a positive mindset, we must re-frame our thinking and below are some positives that can come out of having an injury:
- Time to reflect on performance and re-evaluate goals
- Time to focus on skill work and correcting improper form
- Time to strengthen weaknesses or deficits as a result of the poor form or imbalance
- Time to try new moves/exercises that you can perform
- Time to spend on activities, people, places and additional tasks that you haven’t had time for.