Are you suffering from a sports-related injury? Are you struggling with the mental challenges associated with your injury? Injuries, often unavoidable, can come in all different forms and can sometimes put you on the sideline for an unknown period of time.
When faced with a serious sports injury, you are initially flooded with different thoughts and emotions. Disappointment, hopelessness, and depression are just a few emotions that will circulate within you during this challenging time. A serious injury can fill you with uncertainty, often revealing mental illness with the thought that you may never return to the sport you are so passionate about.
When an injury occurs, the first thought is to push through the pain, potentially creating a much greater issue. It is essential to understand your injury and take a step back to evaluate your situation, seeking a professional’s opinion. Here are five tips to help you navigate your way through this obstacle.
SET REALISTIC GOALS
It is important to understand the specifics of your injury along with the recovery process. Being keen on your injury will change your athletic career because you’ll not only understand what caused it but establish ways to prevent the injury from reoccurring. Keeping a realistic perspective on your situation, avoiding the urge to rush back on your training schedule is crucial to recovering. You can accomplish this by setting daily goals that align with your specific situation.
- FOCUS ON OTHER ASPECTS
Visualize your success. Ask yourself; how you will you come back better and stronger? What improvements can you make and how will you achieve them? Spending a few minutes of your day completely focusing on your game can change your performance. Breaking down your form or plays, in order to see things from a new perspective, can create a breakthrough in your results. More often than not, many do not take the time to do this while training, so it is important for you to take advantage of this time to act on this.
During your recovery, following specific instructions from your coach and your trainers can directly affect your healing time frame. This includes attending all appointments, putting in the extra exercises required, eating a healthy diet and really taking care of your body around the clock. Rehabilitation will help you overcome the imbalances in your body that caused the injury in the first place. These programs can be rigorous, painful, tiresome and even boring but will make all the difference. You may think you know what is best for you and only want to complete exercises at your own discretion, but this will only slow down your recovery.
Understanding yourself and taking note of how you’re feeling can help determine what kind of support you may need. If you feel you are not coping well, it is important to reach out to a team member, a coach or even just your family and friends. Surrounding yourself with familiar people can positively change your mood and make you feel more optimistic about your situation. Staying involved with your sport and team will also give you the motivation to want to keep pushing for a full recovery. Having a strong support system can help you mentally recover by giving you feelings of confidence, motivation, and determination.
Most Importantly…STAY POSITIVE
Attitude is everything. Although overwhelming feelings of stress and depression may initially take over, you cannot stay in that frame of mind for a long period of time. It is crucial to train your mind to have positive and forward thinking. Removing negative thoughts is a proven challenge but will only make you stronger in the long run. Understanding that you are making progress in other ways and planning for your return are ways to maintain a positive mindset.
If an injury teaches you anything it is mastering the balance between determination to be aggressive and the patience it takes to be successful. It is up to you to spin this into an opportunity and prepare yourself for a strong return. Overcoming an injury is a huge accomplishment and will set the tone for your career. Winners will not succumb to this setback and will bounce back in order to keep pushing forward.