How to deal with athletic injuries


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Shot of a young athlete holding his leg in pain

Lucy Williams, Staff Writer

Athletic injuries. They stink, suck, and really, really, are the biggest pain, metaphorically, and physically.

It seems like almost every competitive athlete experiences them at some point in time. Whether you’re hung up with a bum ankle now, or maybe you got out of the cast a week ago. It’s never a bad time to read up on some helpful tips so that you can get back to your “A game”!

Keeping a Positive Mindset

As cheesy as it sounds, staying positive is the #1 way to move forward from something that sets you back. After injuring my ankle and needing surgery, I wasn’t even able to walk for several months. This took a HUGE toll on my mental health and happiness.

Your body and mind are undeniably connected and are constantly feeding off of each other. A happy mind influences a happy body, and a happy body almost always influences a happy mind. Keeping your mind busy, working, and focused is the best way to get a good head-start on your recovery journey. 

Keeping a positive mindset can be really, really tough- especially when you’re taken away from your usual schedule and activities. It can be hard to remember that there’s more to life than 5ks, 3-pointers, homeruns, touchdowns, or whatever it is your athletic self loves to do. 

How do I keep a positive mindset?

First, remember that no matter what your body is currently capable of… you’re still YOU. Whether or not you’re currently out on the court or track, who you are inside never changes. You’re still capable, strong, and able to do what you love. Now is the time to strengthen yourself. Pauses in life stink, but believe it or not- they can actually help you tremendously. 

Time away from practice gives you extra time to do that homework you’ve been stressing over. If you don’t have any homework, you might as well rack up that extra credit, right?

If academics don’t appease you, maybe money will. Jobs are always hiring, and they could totally use a teenager who’s willing to shift their determination in sports to the workplace. Most athletes tend to be driven people, and those are exactly the type of people employers desire to hire. 

Get into writing. Scribbling your feelings and goals down on paper can make you feel productive. Making your thoughts into words only materializes them further, getting you closer and closer to your big goal… whatever that may be. 

Keeping Your Body Active

Depending on what your injury is, you could still manage to be active even while hung up and hurt. 

Stretching is by far the best way to keep yourself moving. It may not seem very productive, but in reality it helps to keep your muscles warm and mobile. A flexible, relaxed body is a body that can get back into strenuous activity. So, why not maintain that flexibility while you have the time? 

If your injury is in your lower body, it might be time to focus on some weight-lifting. There’s plenty of reps you can do while sitting down. If your legs or ankle are what’s hurting, then you can take the opportunity to build your upper body strength. 

Lacking Motivation to Stay Active?

Working out is sometimes just hard in general. Having an injury can make staying active feel even more draining which isn’t fun at all. The whole point of exercising is feeling good, so if it’s doing the opposite for you, you likely need to change something up. 

A quick-fix to boost your mood is turning on some good jams. Get on your music-streaming app, select a workout playlist, and start busting it down, baby! I can assure you that your workout will feel much less miserable if you’re listening to something good.

Everybody is unique, as well as every injury. Whatever it is you’re trying to overcome, my tips will help you to reach that goal. Good luck on your recovery, and here’s to your comeback-season! You got this!