Most times when you think of a sports injury what immediately comes to mind is the physical rehabilitation needed to recover.
To get you through recovery it is extremely important to include sports psychology. These techniques will help you overcome the mental and emotional aspects of the sports related injury.
Every athlete will react to an injury in different ways but commonly found reactions are denial, anger, depression and sadness. Many athletes consider an injury to be unfair because they are in good shape and healthy. Whatever the reactions an athlete has with a sports injury it is of utmost importance not to feed on the negative but move forward positively. This enables the athlete to be more focused, flexible and have a bounce back attitude.
In this article I will discuss some sports psychology to help you get by the emotional stress of a sports injury.
When an athlete does not understand the effects of the sports injury there is an immediate sense of fear and anxiety. Learning as much as you can about the injury will definitely reduce those feelings. Having good communication with your doctor or sports rehab specialist is the first step. Don’t be afraid to ask questions such as (1) what kind of injury (2) how long is recovery (3) what type of treatment (4) what can i expect from therapy (5) what other workouts can I perform and (6) what are signs that treatment is not helping.
Gaining knowledge about your injury will start putting you in a good mindset to cope!
Simply stated you now accept the fact that a sports injury has occurred and you are now ready to take control and determine the outcome.
To get the most out of your rehab having a positive outlook is so important! The athlete must commit to keeping his appointments, work hard and following the instructions of the physical therapist. Keeping away from negative thoughts will help you maintain a positive attitude and stay focused.
Sports injuries should not stop you from seeing your teammates, coaches and friends. Keeping in contact will give you an avenue to vent your feelings, listen to advise and seek encouragement during the recovery stage. My advise is to go see your teammates practice, hang around the locker room and watch them in the gym. Getting suport from them is a big plus mentally!
Being injured does not mean you stop planning. It is now time to switch focus from performance to rehabilitation. The goal should be to look at your sports injury as a challenge not as a disaster. This will certainly keep you motivated.
If you have difficulty setting realistic goals always seek the advise of your doctor or sports rehab specialist. Since i have many years in physical rehab the best advise is, do not try to speed up recovery by over doing it. Most of the time pushing it sets you back. The goal here is to accept the injury and learn your limits.
While injured try to maintain your cardiovascular conditioning and strength. Work closely with the specialists to come up with alternative programs taking your injury into account. For example, if you are unable to run try swimming or cycling. Now is the time to work on relaxation, flexibility and nutrition.
In summary, having knowledge, support and patience with an injury means it is not the end of the world!!!