Ed. note: If you are injured or suspect you are injured, stop reading this immediately and see a medical professional. Blog posts on the internet are not a replacement for actual medical advice. If you are already injured and dealing with the long road to recovery, read on. Please check in with your doctor before attempting any major changes in your training regimen.
Also, the featured image is a kitten instead of an actual sports injury. You’re welcome.
When you have an injury, it is useful to do several things:
- Mentally and emotionally accept where you are along the continuum of that injury.
- Understand and learn as much of the injury’s diagnosis as much as possible.
- Accept that you can still perform some type of action despite the injury.
Understanding GRIT along with understanding your own ability to persevere in the face of great obstacles is a valuable tool that is also widely misunderstood. Many times, athletes come back “stronger” despite their previous injuries. Is it because they are truly getting stronger, or are they playing smarter, increasing movement quality, or utilizing different approaches that they would not have used if not for the past injury?
If you can mentally accept where you are, and aim to learn as much as you can about your specific injury as possible, then it will be useful to understand the following guidelines for training with an injury.
With this in mind, whenever an athlete comes in with an injury, it is understood that, barring severe injuries, there is still something that can be performed: movement quality maintenance, soft tissue maintenance around the affected area, breathing quality to reduce sympathetic drive and promote parasympathetic drive to help them sleep, relax, and avoid the anxiety involved with having an injury, or at the very least have someone to talk with about what they can do despite the injury.
While going over every single injury and the possible exercises that you can regress to in the face of immediate injury is beyond the scope of this article, I did outline several guidelines in two articles:
These two articles go over a few guidelines necessary towards achieving a training effect despite soft tissue injuries. Check them out if you or someone you know can benefit from reading and following these guidelines.
Kitten picture courtesy of Merlijn Hoek and used under a Creative Commons License.