Author: Molly Collimore | October 28, 2014

Dealing with Injuries

Dealing with Injuries

Most athletes know how awful being injured is. Sitting on the sideline in regular clothes while you watch your team play is one of the worst feelings imaginable. Unfortunately, I’ve had to deal with that multiple times this season. My shin splints turned from nuisances to possible stress fractures I needed x-rays for. It wasn’t easy for me to go through and while nothing will make it great, I hope these tips help you.

Prevention, prevention, prevention! I know thinking of an injury when your healthy is the last thing on your mind, but taking a couple minutes every practice can help keep you off the bench. Stretching is super important. Before games and practices I make sure to properly warm up all my muscles and ease in to the workout.  Hydration is another huge issue. Dehydrated athletes are more likely to get injured. Make sure you’re drinking before, during and after your workout to ensure you replace all the fluids your body has lost.

If you do get injured, one of the most important things you can do is tell your coach or athletic trainer right away. My big mistake was waiting a couple days before reporting the pain in my legs because I thought it was nothing. Now I’m extremely careful. If something doesn’t feel right with my body, I make sure to go see Beth, our athletic trainer. My friends now know my standard response to any comment they make about not feeling 100% will be “go see Beth”. Playing on an injury is not only dangerous, it’s detrimental too. You’re only making your injury take longer to heal. Would you rather sit out a couple regular season games or the championship?

Being injured doesn’t mean you’re off the team. I really struggled with feeling left out, like my identity as an athlete was gone. I eventually figured out some tricks to keep going and feel like a part of the team again.  I used my games on the bench to help cheer on my teammates even louder than I was able to do before. I kept stats and made sure I was always analyzing our strategy and giving constructive advice to my team. And instead of sitting on the sidelines during practice, I helped run some drills and assisted with setting the gym up. Although there’s never a “fun” time when you’re injured, make the best of it. There are multiple ways you can help out without aggravating your injury. Keep going, because before you know it, you’ll back in the game and healthy.

Life of an Athlete has opened my eyes and the eyes of numerous other athletes on my team. We never realized to what extent our nutrition, behavior, and training could affect us. We always worked hard …

— Sarah Dunlap (Student Athlete, Inter-Lakes High School