Your Mental Toughness and Returning From an Injury
Coming back from athletic injury is an experience laden with intense emotions…
An injured athlete returning to competition will run through the gamut of both positive and negative emotions:
- Fear – Fear of re-injury is the most common emotion of injured athletes. The thoughts of re-injury or how the injured body part may hold up can be problematic for the returning athlete. Being overly cautious can lead to re-injury.
- Excitement – The exhilaration of being back to competition after a layoff is often intense. Being hyped up too much can set the stage for a disappointing return.
- Anxiety – Nervousness can interfere with a successful comeback and the ability to focus on just playing the game and focusing on the process.
- Impatience – Sometimes, the injured athlete will expect to return to their previous level of play even though the athlete may not have the optimal level conditioning or practice. This can be a big source of frustration for the injured athlete.
- Pressure – A much anticipated return to action and not wanting to let teammates and coaches down can drastically alter the injured athlete’s successful return to competition.
- Apprehension – Some injured athletes will be overly cautious and apprehensive due to the possibility of experiencing pain in the previously injured body part and potential long-term damage.
- Uncertainty – Questions of performing at the same level of play or regaining their status on the team can be a tremendous hurdle for some athletes.
- Happiness – After a long break and successful rehab, the extreme joy of being back is a great and accomplished positive emotion.
All emotions affect your recovery and performance.
Negative emotions can increase muscle tension and affect how you breathe.
If these emotions are not check in check, not only can your performance suffer but there is an increased chance of re-injury.
Dealing with emotions is just what Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz needed to do in his return to competition after a nine month recovery from two torn knee ligaments.
Not only was the rehab physical and mentally taxing, Wentz admitted that his return to action will filled with intense emotions.
WENTZ: “It’s been a long time coming. It’s been quite the grind of an offseason. There’s a lot of excitement, a lot of built-up anxiety over when it was going to be that time, and almost relief finally being cleared to get back out there… There’s going to be a lot of emotions going on. But once the game starts, it’s just a football game.”
In the end, Wentz was able to manage his pregame and game-time emotions to lead the Eagles on a game-winning, 17-play drive that consumed 11 minutes, 18 seconds in the fourth quarter.
To manage emotions after an injury, realize that your first competition back from injury is no different than any other game.
By normalizing the game, you can focus on the process of playing which minimizes muscle tension and mental clutter and allows you to play to make a successful return to action.
Emotions and Returning From an Injury:
Controlling negative emotions is key.
To keep your emotions in check, focus on your pregame routine that you followed prior to your injury.
Let go of any expectations about performing great when you return.
Build your confidence one day at a time. You won’t have superior confidence right out of the gate. Be patient and earn your confidence one day at a time!
For more strategies on controlling your emotions and staying composed when returning from injury, check out our audio and workbook program, “The Composed Athlete”:
Learn Mental Game Strategies to Improve Composure in Sports!
If you’re an athlete who wants to learn how to stop performance anxiety quickly, be poised, calm and in control during those “critical moments”, learn more about The Composed Athlete!
Powerful strategies for learning a composed mindset can be developed, but you must first strip away the mental ball and chains that prevent you from having instant composure when you need it.
How much better would you perform if you have total confidence and composure to perform your best in crunch-time?
The Composed Athlete CD and workbook program consists of 2 audio CD’s that include 14 days of composure boosting exercises and a simple to follow workbook that guides you through each of the 14 days, helps you apply the strategies, and customizes the exercises to your personal crunch-time challenges and coping with pressure.
How do you develop maximum composure and become a crunch-time performer?
In “The Composed Athlete” you’ll learn:
- How to model your ideal composed athlete
- How to identify the specific mental breakdowns that impede your composure
- How to create powerful feelings of composure in just 15 minutes a day
- Break through fears and ineffective beliefs that keep you stuck in a comfort zone
- How to become a success-driven instead of fear-driven athlete
- How to get beyond self-intimidate and awaken the champion within
- Specific mental strategies for letting go of errors and frustration about mistakes
- A pregame routine to get yourself into a composed mindset from the get go.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Athlete Series…
Maximize your composure today!
What are mental game customers saying about our mental game boosting program?
“The ‘Confident Athlete Package‘ was worth its price. The concepts I learned are very valuable.”
“Your response to the throwing problem in front of the coach covers so many situations in life…that is the beauty of playing sports…the life learning experiences. Keep up the good work…you are the best mental coach.”
~Bill Brennan, sports parent
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~Nicky Labrecque, Motocross racer
“Thank you so much for taking the time to work with our team while we were down in Florida. The tips you gave about relaxation and releasing tension before we bat or do anything was very beneficial to me. I find that I even use it during my classes at school.”
~Ann Miller, Softball player
Boost Your Self-Confidence And Focus With Expert Mental Game Coaching!
Master mental game coach Dr. Patrick Cohn can help you overcome your mental game issues with personal coaching.
You can work with Dr. Patrick Cohn himself in Orlando, Florida or via Skype, FaceTime, or telephone. Call us toll free at 888-742-7225 or contact us for more information about the different coaching programs we offer!
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~Coach Jim Bird, Head Coach Osceola High School
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~Max Anstie, Pro MX racer