Tips for Athletes on How to Mentally Face Injury – Exercise Bike Health

Tips for Athletes on How to Mentally Face Injury

Sports Fitness —
April 29, 2013


Tags: basketball, canada, college basketball, fitness, injury, ncaa, rehab, sports, Sports Fitness, training

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Confronting an injury is quite hard on your mental faculties in addition to your body. How you take care of it can go a long ways as for the impact it has on you all throughout the recovery process up until the time you get back to competing again. There are some principles I used when tackling my own personal injuries that I discovered as being powerful and have no doubt could assist others.

Just before the basketball season of my junior year of college, I suffered a significant hip injury that comprised of a torn labrum, a bone spur, and cartilage damages that required extensive surgery. The recovery process was tedious and seemed infinite at times. I saw a variety of medical doctors a week to have my progress tracked and get therapy followed by eight months of concrete rehab before I could even participate in basketball again. I had to redshirt my entire junior season but I could still picture myself on the court with my teammates.

You should begin training for your sport again when your doctor allows you to. Among one of the most effective ways to rehabilitate an injury is by doing something you take pleasure in. This is crucial mentally as well as physically as you will not only want to compete again, but you will progressively start to feel like you can compete again. As soon as your mind and body start to cooperate again, you will know you’re prepared to compete. In the beginning, my rehab was composed of upper body exercises. In addition to this I viewed game film and visualized what it would be like and what I would do if I was playing in those games I examined.

While observing your team play, try to visualize yourself playing in the game . This process, referred to as visualization, does not involve physical engagement , but can help you keep psychologically sharp when it relates to the foundations of your sport and physically sharp as you increase your muscle memory. The popularity of making use of visualization oftentimes starts at the college level, but it can undoubtedly be used by any athlete at any age if they want to learn the best ways to take advantage of it. Imagine yourself as one of your teammates that plays the same position and envision what you would most likely do in the same way and what you would do differently. This mental exercise can keep your mind and body in tune to your sport so that you are more ready and able to perform when you come back from your injury. When I was finally able to physically do what I had mentally pictured being able to do, the transition will felt very natural and I believe I was able to come back better than before in some very crucial aspects.

Especially in team sports, it is critical to always remember to be supportive of your team and be as spirited as possible when you are on the sidelines watching them. As badly as I desired to be back on the court, I tried to stay concentrated on being a good teammate in any way I could because I knew that I would want my teammates to do the same for me.

When dealing with an injury sometimes your mind starts to wander, dreading the rehabilitation process or envisioning worst case scenarios. I remember consciously making myself keep my thoughts in check. One thing that helped me a lot was the simple but true idea that everything happens for a reason. Rather than dwelling on the negative aspects of my injury, this mantra enabled me to turn my injury into a positive.

It may be tough to stay mentally “into it” when you are not physically “into it”. This is a great time to mentally train for your sport, thinking about and appreciating details that you might otherwise not have put in the time to notice. A huge aspect of any sport is mental and it is just as important to grow mentally at your sport as it is physically. Not only can using approaches such as visualization help keep your mind involved in the game, it can help you return stronger and faster than before.

For more great information on how to mentally recover from injury visit the blog of Basketball player Adam Folker.