Athletes make up a group of elite people in the world, who are often in the best physical shape of their lives. From MMA fighters to soccer players, the skill and perseverance needed to compete is bountiful. This said, a major pitfall of athleticism is prone to injuries. Yes, I did just mention that they are in the best shapes of their lives, but they are also pushed to the limit on a regular basis. Recovering and coming back from an injury is one of the heftier challenges an athlete will face in their career.
After suffering from an injury, the first question an athlete will ask is when they can get back into the game. While that thought is the most important to them at the time, their main focus should revolve around recovery. More often than not, a player does not take the time to fully recover and returns to the sport much too soon. This leads to either an underperformance or re-injury.
Recovery encompasses much more than just resting. Depending on the severity of the injury, it is crucial to follow every order the doctor prescribes. From physical therapy to medication, there is a good reason behind every advice that a medical professional gives to patients. The value behind an athlete’s patience will also have a huge impact on their recovery. The time and effort that it takes to perform well as an athlete is equal, if not, less than the perseverance an injured player needs.
Our minds have a unique and intricate way of making us feel certain ways about events in our lives. We instinctively cry when devastating news arrives and smile when we hear about positivity. Athletes face all of these emotions and more upon obtaining an injury. Of course, pain, the initial feeling, bombards us. In that moment all they can wish for, is to no longer be hurting.
Once recovery begins, the mind tends to wander for many athletes. Thoughts of ‘will I ever play or compete again?’, ‘will I come back as the same athlete I was?’ linger on the brain. It is hard to push the negative thoughts out but it is crucial to remain positive. Most athletes who endure an injury in their career will face mental health hardships. Remind yourself of your love and passion for the sport, every single day. When a mind and body can heal and stay healthy, using the best tools for success, the whole person can do wonders.