Most athletes have experienced the displeasure of getting injured and many have endured a recurrence of that injury due to inadequate rehabilitation and rest. Injuries often keep athletes on the sidelines for extended periods of time and they quickly become impatient and skip recovery steps and return to action before they are ready. Does this sound familiar to you? Well, below we will look at the different steps in the recovery process and dissect why it is so important to follow them, so to eliminate the risk of a recurring injury.
- An injury not only damages tissue but it adds stress on the athletes mind too. Rest is a crucial time when the body is allowed to heal, and the athlete can distance themselves from the rigors of competitive sports. If a doctor recommends doing nothing for a period of time, then it is best if you allow your body the medically recommended time to heal. Resting adequately will help you to recover quicker in the long run, allowing you to be confident in the reliability and performance of the injured appendage.
- Injuries tend to affect the strength, range of motion and function of the injured area. Rehabilitation aids in regaining muscle strength, restoring range of motion and helps to regain normal endurance levels. It is important to be disciplined with the rehab process in order to recover correctly; if you have specific exercises to do every day, then you need to put in the effort to complete them as instructed.
3. Change Focus
- When an injury does occur, athletes will often focus on everything they are not able to do. Dwelling on the negatives only serves to harm your mental state. During the rehabilitation phase, make a conscious effort to focus on other aspects of training. Try to find exercises that will stimulate your competitive nature and not affect the injured area. For example; try swimming or cycling.
- Keeping a positive attitude is key to making a speedy recovery. The more negative you are, the less motivated you become with your rehabilitation and training; which will only delay your recovery. With a positive attitude, you may surprise yourself and recover a lot faster than expected.
Recovery and rehabilitation is a complex and highly important part of being an athlete. If you do it wrong you may inflict long term damage on your body which may impact your career. Do it correctly and you show your coaches that you are a dedicated and self-disciplined person who understands what it takes to be an elite athlete.