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How to Cope With a Sports Injury

06 December 2021 | 0 comments | Posted by Linda Brooks in Athletes

Dealing with sports injuries

The last thing on just about any athlete's mind is what they might do if they get injured. Amateurs and professionals alike are typically prepared for any scenario on the court or the field, but what happens when injuries occur?

Sports injuries are the worst-case scenario for just about every athlete out there. They're one of the greatest tests a person can face as an opportunity to show drive, resilience, and determination to get back out there, but that takes a lot more energy than you may think. To help you out, we've put together a quick guide on how you can cope with a sports injury, so you can heal up and get back out there.

Take control of your recovery.

Once you've sustained an injury serious enough to keep you out of the game for a while, it's time to assess the situation and figure out how you're going to move forward. The first thing you should learn is absolutely everything you can about your injury.

Being injured can make anyone feel powerless -like their control has been stolen- and the best way to begin reclaiming your power is by learning. The more you learn about your injury, the better prepared you'll be for a speedy recovery. Not everyone has personal trainers and team doctors to advise them along the way, so become your own best counsellor. After all, you know how your injury feels better than anyone else!

Another part of taking responsibility for your recovery is doing your best to maintain your level of physical fitness. This may not be possible for extremely severe injuries, but there's almost always a way to keep your body moving, whether it's low-impact or a simple shift in your training focus.

Set realistic goals.

Setting clear and realistic goals is a great way to keep yourself motivated and to move forward during the recovery process. Make your goals as clear and realistic as possible. You may not be able to hit your PR mile split within a month after your doctor gives you the okay to run again, but you can make it a goal to hit 75% of it.

The thing to keep in mind when setting goals post-injury is that timelines aren't always within the limits of your control. You'll definitely hit your PR again (and maybe even surpass it), but it might take an extra few weeks, so be patient. If your doctor says to rest for a certain amount of time, make sure you do it!

Accept your feelings.

Suffering from a sports injury can be psychologically detrimental to any passionate athlete. Not being able to go to practices, play in games, and spend time with teammates can feel like a true loss, and you may even find yourself going through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance).

It's extremely important (especially when recovering from a sports injury) to recognise your feelings for what they are. Feeling down doesn't make you weak, and it certainly doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you. Recognising your feelings is the first step towards accepting them and ultimately working through them, and doing so will only make you a better person in the long run!

Visualise yourself at your best.

This isn't always discussed when it comes to recovering from an injury, but it's an incredibly powerful tool. It's something just about every successful world-class athlete regularly does and is something you should be incorporating into your daily routine in some small capacity if nothing else.

If you're a runner, visualise yourself in full stride with your breath under complete control as you pass your competitors one by one. If you're a basketball player, visualise yourself hitting every single shot you take from the free-throw line as well as the three-point line.

Practising visualisation exercises activates the same part of our brain that's stimulated when we're performing in your sport. So keep your game sharp with some visualisation.

Take advice from professionals.

As we mentioned earlier, dealing with a sports injury can cause a lot of grief, doubt, and even depression, but it's more important now than ever to stay connected. You may not be able to play in the games or practices, but you should be present for every single one if you're able. It's easy to slip into this trap, but don't alienate yourself just because you're injured.

Accept help and support from your doctor and physical therapist. Take your medication when you're supposed to, and learn to manage your pain naturally if possible. There are loads of cannabis products suitable for treating pain -some of which are more effective than opioids. You can learn more about that here.

Conclusion

Coping with a sports injury is challenging for even the toughest athletes, but if you follow these tips, you'll be on your way back to practice in no time at all!

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is fitness

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