Injuries are going to happen. They are a part of sports; they are a part of being an athlete.
Some injuries are definitely more severe than other injuries. As athletes, we are pushing our bodies to the limit to get the most out of them. Some may keep you out for a weekend, some may keep you out for an entire season. But other than keeping you out of a game, an injury can teach you life lessons. If you’re injured now or have gotten injured in the past, how have you responded?
Your response defines your character….An injury shows if a player is selfish or selfless. There is a VERY big difference.
To me, an injury is a way that our body is telling us to slow down. An injury is also telling us that it may be time to change some mechanics, thus getting better so that our body can perform at the highest level possible. An injury can bring attention to some things we need to change in making sure we take the best care of our bodies possible, as this is the only body we are going to have.
As we live each day, we are writing our own book. Are you going to let an injury just be a couple of pages in a chapter of your book? Or are you going to allow an injury to be 4-5 chapters of a book? Your response will be very telling. The choice is up to you. Now, I understand that there are the severe, catastrophic injuries that most likely will impact someone’s life in different ways for the entirety, but still I ask, how are you going to respond? Every day we have choices. Are we going to rise up to a challenge? Or let adversity overcome us?
With in injury, there come a lot of decisions in how you are going to handle yourself. 1) You now have a choice in the attitude you are going to have towards taking on life after the injury. 2) You have a choice in how you are going to still contribute to your team. 3) You have a choice in how you are going to try to figure out a creative way to practice to keep up with your skills. 4) You have a choice in how you are going to get treatment for your injury and take care of yourself. ALL OF THESE THINGS affect life lessons and define your character,
and in the end, will help define what kind of player you will turn out to be after the injury.
For Part 1 of Dealing with Injuries – Attitude, click here.
For Part 2 of Dealing with Injuries – Contributing to Your Team, click here.
3) Practicing & Training
Even though you are hurt, there are probably different things that you could be doing to still stay in shape or still be practicing. Even if they are little, it’s important to do them to continue to work on your skills, and stay as strong as possible.
For example, if you are a pitcher and your foot is hurt, you can still be doing drills on your knee or spins. You can get creative and do things that do not involve your feet, so that you make sure your arms stay in shape with your snap. If the opposite is hurt, say your arm is hurt, you can find ways to strengthen your leg drive. Maybe even you can still do wrist, firearm and finger strengthening to make sure that your spin stays strong while your shoulder is injured.
When you are at team practice, still take this time seriously. Ask your coach if anything can be modified so that you can still participate. If you can’t do any of the drills, find ways to strengthen your core. Do some abs throughout the practice. Your core can never be too strong. When you come back from your injury, it will be important that your body feels stronger than it would have if you would have chosen to do NOTHING while you were injured.
The choice is yours in the action you are going to take to continue to try to get better as a player even though you are injured. To me, this shows dedication. Are you still going to find a way to get better even though things aren’t exactly perfect? Continue to try to practice and train as much as you can so you can stay in shape as much as you can and still be working on your skills to get better.