I had a coach tell our team that there is a difference between injured and sore. Injured – you can’t play and sore you can play.
If you are trying to figure out if you are injured, below are four easy ways to distinguish.
1. Swelling that is limiting your joint movement
2. Pain that persists even when resting
3. Numbness or tingling that does not go away
4. A pain that persists and get worse with activity
5. If these four are occurring, see a doctor, trainer, or physical therapist
This entry is not about distinguishing injury, it is more about what happens to the heart, mind and soul of the athlete who is not able to compete because of their injury.
If you talk to any athlete and ask them about the rehabilitation process, they will all have different stories.
But they all have a common thread and that is the “missing” part. When a player cannot run onto the field with his teammates, get dirty sliding into second base, compete against a pitcher, something inside each one of us starts to change.
The “missing” part starts to fuel a desire that is irreplaceable. You will find out how much you love something when it is taken away from you. You will find out how much harder you will work to get it back. There is a burning that occurs within the injured athlete that can only be quenched by getting back on the field.
The mental part of coming back is a tricky one. Questions arise in our heads about our ability to come back. We question the possibility of not being the same player that we were before. These are normal and everyone has had these thoughts.
The positive part: you get to see the game from the sideline, you might possibly learn from a new vantage point. You will gain a different perspective, simply by not playing.
If you play hard – you will get injured. If you play with fear of getting hurt – you will get injured.
Go and play! If you get hurt, you will come back. This game teaches a lot and will teach you more than you know when you can’t play.
Until Next Time,