Injuries ruin more than your body. They destroy your mood, your season, and even your entire high school career—unless you take special care of yourself and work hard to return to the field.
Depending on the severity of your injury, your glorious return wouldn’t just make a great movie; it could happen. Here are a few non-medical tips you can use to help yourself get back into shape and onto the scoreboard.
Take your time on crutches or in a cast to recuperate. There’s no point in hurting yourself anymore, so why not take up residence on the couch and watch sports all day?
You might not learn how to run faster, but you can pick up on tips and advice from how the pros play. If you’re a tennis fan, watch the U.S. Open and see how the world’s best players reset themselves after each hit. If you love baseball, take note of how the defensive players are aligned on the field as different hitters get up to bat.
If you’re a die-hard fan, head to the Internet and browse your team’s website. They often put up athletic training videos of practices and pre-game warm-ups. Emulate these players; when they were young, they did the same things you’re doing now.
When you get the OK by the doctor, it’s time to live the Rocky montage. Well, maybe not so intensely, but the idea is the same. Keep in touch with your doctor and do as much as you can without re-aggravating your injury or getting injured in another way after compensating for that first injury.
This is also an excellent time to work in new routines that you aren’t used to doing. Chances are, your muscles have atrophied just a touch from lack of movement, so introduce new agility training routines under the watchful eye of your coach to help you regain lost strength at the same time you’re building speed.
The hardest thing for most athletes is getting back to game speed. It’s OK to sit out a game or two if you don’t feel confident in your abilities, especially if you’re working back into an awkward position to play, like a soccer midfielder, an offensive lineman, or a baseball catcher.
Ask your coach if you can simulate game speed with some teammates in the week leading up to your first game. Remember, life goes on after high school sports, so make sure you’re fully healthy so you can continue to play the game you love after graduation.