Use Your Head . . . .You'll
By Doreen Greenberg, Ph.D
Rehabilitation means both mental and physical recovery from injury.
Your reaction to an injury is based more on your perception of
what this injury means, than on the actual physical injury itself.
Possible outcomes may include a quick return to action, a long
absence from competition or an end of a career. It is your personal
interpretation of what is happening that has the greatest influence
on your response.
to sports injury are as diverse as the athletes who participate
in sports. For some it will be a catastrophe, for others an inconvenience.
It is very difficult to predict how someone will react. What you
should know is that it is quite normal to feel distressed, sad,
and even angry about the whole thing. It is natural to be concerned
about a complete recovery. After all, you have spent a lot of
time, energy, and effort to become a collegiate athlete.
The emphasis of rehab should be the speedy, safe return to sport
of an emotionally and physically healthy athlete. So, what can
you, the injured party, do? Research has shown us that athletes
who use psychological skills recover much faster than athletes
who do not. Here are some of the things you can do:
|Educate yourself - make every effort
to fully understand both the nature of your injury and the
|Ask questions - you can get rid of a lot of
anxiety and uncertainty by getting the answers.
|Make a commitment to healing - become an active
member of your sports medicine team.
|Have a game plan - take personal
responsibility for your recovery process by setting goals
|short (daily) and long term (return to play)
|Learn psyching strategies - through
training and practice you can learn to:
is more to the recovery process than simply being there in body.
There needs to be a positive attitude, an expectation of success,
and an intensity to the rehabilitation routine. Become part of
the rehab team. Be an active member. Learn to use the resources
within you. Use your head - not only will you heal faster, but
you will come back a stronger athlete.