Accepting sports trauma has never been easy for a dedicated sports person with huge goals. It’s a sinking feeling of stress, fear, frustration, anxiety, lower-self-worth, and depression.
If you are facing something like this. Then there is a whole list of physiological and psychological factors that you need to understand in order to recover.
Today let’s ponder and discuss few tips on how you can overcome any type of sports trauma? – In the fastest way possible…!
Tip 1: Think, Observe, and Educate Yourself About Your Injury
Ask yourself, how you got this injury? Observe your training mistakes. It will help you how to deal with a similar situation in the future.
- Maybe your posture or technique was wrong.
- Maybe you went over the board and trained too much.
- Maybe you were not wearing enough safety gears like shoes or joint wraps.
Most of these are the possible reasons for your injury and now you have to take your lesson by not repeating the same mistakes.
Get to a medical health care expert and ask about your injury situation.
Educate yourself about the type of trauma you are facing by reading more authentic medical theories and research papers.
Join an online or offline community with fellow athletes who have faced similar circumstance. All this will help you gain perspectives about what are you dealing with?
Also, joining an athlete’s community will help you build a stronger support system while making you realize that you are not alone in this.
Tip 2: Building Psychological Skills to Fight Sports Trauma
Step 1 – Accept the reality.
Initially, as you start entering the phase of sports trauma, you will be in a shock for few days. You will start feeling that this is not your body anymore. An emotional attachment with your old self will always make you feel low on self-worth. You will feel that something is missing and this is not your body anymore.
For a person who has just been through a surgery or physical suffering. All this is going to happen and this is a natural.
But, the way to overcome this is by recognizing these feelings. Own your emotions and honour your injury scars.
Give your emotional self a a lesson from the situation. Don’t feel sorry about your circumstances, don’t blame yourself or anyone else for what you are facing.
Realize the fact that, not everything is in our control. Accepting the reality will help you lead the path of self-believe and optimism.
Step 2 – Start surrounding yourself with optimism.
The most frustrating thing about post-injury recovery is being optimistic while you are helpless.
An athlete will feel powerless when he faces, a torn ligament or a broken bone. And while you cannot heal it, you can still make a conscious choice by owning your situation.
When you stop thinking about -“why it happened to me?”
And instead, you start telling you – it was meant to be, so it just happened! You will start owning your circumstances.
Repeating positive affirmations can also help you reap the effects of optimism. Like, standing in front of a mirror and repeating “I choose to find new opportunities for future and I will improve with time!”.
Step 3 – Set appropriate physical goals and take a rest.
When we are injured, we always want to get better right now. Athletes especially always aspire to get back to their game as soon as possible because the game defines their whole life.
But no matter where you come from, recovery will not happen overnight!
It will take time. One day at a time and one moment at a time, you have to give your body proper nutrition, medication, and rest, as your doctor recommended.
And, whenever you return to your game back, never set unrealistic goals.
There will be things that you can’t do post-injury or you might just have to take it easy.
Learn how to set the right goals post-recovery, do not overtrain, and do not compromise on rest. If not taken care of the step 3, this can lead you towards worsening your sports trauma.
Step 4 – Focus only on the present.
Mostly, when a sports person faces injury, they get into a sinking feeling of lower self-worth. They keep on reminiscing the times when they could do extensive training and try to compare it to their “what-it-will-be-like?” future.
Again, past or future is not in our control. What we can rather, do is pick our mentally broken pieces, cherish whatever we are left with, focus on our current training routine, and start taking action on the present.
Step 5 – Visualize your recovery.
Do not underestimate the power of manifestation and visualization. If your brain has positive intentions, you will end up performing positive actions. And, positive actions will end up bringing you positive results over time.
Tip 3: Working Towards Physical Body Goals
An athlete is always a goal setter. They love to keep on hustling and pushing their body consistently for better performance and strength.
But, after a sports injury or a severe surgery, try to give your body time and rest. Do not crush your training goals rather, try setting some SMART RECOVERY GOALS!
Now, what are smart recovery goals, and how to set them?
Let’s take an example of a marathon runner, he is someone who could run more than 20 km prior his injury. Now, recently he got an ACL fracture.
He has been on bed rest for 5 months. His injury has been healed to 80% but he is not confident how to come back to his marathon preparation?
Cause the doctors told him not to overstress the knee joints and ligaments while running.
S for Specific – Start by jogging 2km at a specific speed for one week and observe how your body responds. Once this seems easy slowly start pushing your km target every week.
M for Measurable – Measure your running pace with distance travelled and compare your pre-injury and post-injury pace.
A for Attainable – Make sure to set a small goal first and as you keep on making progress, keep pushing yourself to the ultimate distance of 20 km or more.
R for Relevant – Do what helps you get closer to your recovery. Like incorporating isolated muscles strengthen exercises in your training routine will help you regain ligament strength faster.
T for Time-bound – Set a timeline for your recovery. Design specific, measurable, attainable, relevant goals that fit in a certain timeline. Also, make sure to choose a relevant recovery timeline.
When you tell yourself to achieve your recovery goals in the next six months then, your brain will always tell you to keep on hustling.
The Ending Note – Setting Your Physical Boundaries
Post-recovery, you need to learn, if you want to play and stay in the game for longer, then you need to play it very safe.
- Set your physical boundaries while you train.
- Make sure you are not getting involved in over-exerting exercises.
- Treat your trauma area with isolated muscle strengthen exercises at first.
- When you get a green flag from your doctor, only then hit a hard training session.
Do not take your sports trauma as a stop sign for your fitness career. A sports injury is a badge of hard work and pure dedication. So, carry it with honour and pride.
The only thing that stops you from getting back in your game is your mental trauma. Physical trauma is just a phase of your life, it enters your life like a hail storm, teaches you a lesson, and leaves.
So, take your lessons. Follow each enlightening tip and just wait for the right time.
Trauma recovery is just directly proportional to your mental maturity. If you are mentally positive, your recovery will also be positive.
Understand that many sports injuries may lead you on a path from where you can never get back to your normal training routine. Things might change a lot but leaving your passion is never an option. Find new opportunities, stay committed and play it safe.