Some form of injury is common for athletes. Athletes need their body to perform, so if it’s not working at optimal level it can be anything from annoying to devastating. Even one week off can feel like forever. Many people experience sadness and disappointment with injury. It is important to acknowledge and express these feelings, but also keep focussed on the rehabilitation process and keep your goals realistic.
Look for ways to make the most of this time:
- Keep involved in regular training, doing modified exercises or watching
- Continue to train mentally using imagery, so that you only have the physical ground to regain, not the mental
If your sadness or disappointment is overwhelming or ongoing, you may be suffering from symptoms of depression. Depression involves chemical changes in the brain which can have genetic causes, or be triggered by a significant event such as injury, or by ongoing stress. You may notice changes in mood, social interaction, motivation, sleeping, appetite, and thoughts. People report feeling “lost”, “in a dark hole” and like “no one could understand”. You don’t have to live with depression, so if you or someone you know is experiencing these feelings, it is important to seek help. Ask your GP for a Better Mental Health Plan and book an appointment with FOCUS Performance Psychology who understand the demands placed on athletes.