Coping With An Injury
Soccer is an extremely demanding sport on the ankles and knees so injuries of these joints are quite common. When faced with an ankle, knee, or injury that could end your season, it's important to change your perspective. While an injury could be a devastating end to a season -- it also marks the beginning of your strenuous recovery. Any serious athlete will be just as dedicated to injury recovery as they were to training before the pain.
CoachUp has put together a list of things for the injured athlete to consider once they've been forced out of the game, check it out.
Be There For Your Teammates
When faced with an injury it is important to find a new place on the team. Injured players can still be valuable to their team by becoming anything from a statistics keeper to motivational support. Being off the field hurts, but decide how to remain involved, and help the team in any way you can.
For example: Peyton Manning, the former MVP QB, became a player-coach for the season after injuring his neck playing for the Indianapolis Colts. Injuries may take you off the field, but they do not make you useless. Figure out what you can do to help your team win.
The most important part of coming back from injuries is receiving the proper treatment for your injury. Communicate with a doctor, physical therapist, and your coach, follow their instructions, and be patient. It can be helpful to set weekly goals for yourself, especially if you're in physical therapy.
Take the recovery step-by-step and before you know it, you'll be back on the field. One of the biggest mistakes athletes make is returning before their body is ready. Re-injury will only make the process harder and can result in chronic, lifelong problems.
Suffering a season ending injury is emotionally devastating. To successfully stay involved and recover physically, you need to have an awesome attitude. Injuries happen all the time in soccer and the players that come back quickly are the ones that are confident and motivated.
Getting down on yourself or feeling sorry for yourself will only make things more difficult. When you are dedicated to the recovery process, you're doing everything in your power -- be proud of that. When you're ready to play again, you will be more grateful for each minute you spend playing soccer.
Take Shaun Livingston, an NBA player who suffered one of the most gruesome injuries in sports history, and his documented road to recovery. After tearing his ACL, MCL, and PCL, Livingston could have easily retired and given up - but he didn't. Through perseverance and mental toughness, Livingston fought his way back and revived his professional career, even winning a championship with Golden State in 2015. Watch this video and try not to feel motivated, we dare you!
(Related: Read about preventing ACL injuries here.)
At the end of the day, returning from a serious injury is a combination of many focused efforts. Physically, it can be draining and rehabbing may seem impossible. Emotionally, it can demolish any confidence and resiliency a player might have. But, if the athlete is determined, willing to learn, and work hard, they'll find themselves back on the pitch sooner rather than later.