1/26/17

Dear Athletes, Injuries Happen

"Hard times produce strong men. Strong men produce good times. 
Good times produce weak men. Weak men produce hard times."

Playing sports in high school, college, and even at the top level is like climbing a mountain. At the bottom of this mountain you can look up and see the peak. The summit is so close. So we climb this mountain hoping to reach the top as fast as possible. During the ascent the crest, our ultimate goal in sports play, seems to be just a far away as when we started. And why wouldn't it be? We set goals that continue to grow into greater goals. You want to start for your team, then you want to play college, maybe you want to go pro, eventually you want to be the world champ. There is no stopping now, even with the apex so far away, the bottom where you started is equally as far. A lot of work has gone into this climb, and yet so much more work is left to be done. You are caught in the middle of a mountain, working with everything that you have to reach the top. The only thing that could make this journey harder is to fall. 




Within the past month I have met with many of my athletes who have suffered injuries for their sports. A rolled ankle, a sprained knee, and even injuries that require surgery. The British Journal of Strength and Conditioning showed that individuals who use proper resistance training are 33% less likely to have an acute injury. That is great news, but in the end even with all of the right steps an injury can happen. No matter how good of a strength coach you have, they cannot prepare you to step on someone else's foot during a volleyball game. 

Any sport done at a competitive level is dangerous. Running is good exercise, but when we do it to be the best distance runner that we can be there are risks. In fact, for every 1000 hours spent running there are 12.1 injuries according to Mechelen (1992). If running, a non contact sport, can be made "dangerous" through competition then any sport can. Now, I'm not suggesting that you bubble wrap yourself and drop out of sports. What a waste of talent to never reach some form of potential. What I am saying is that you have to be mentally prepared for hardship. 

When an injury happens I typically see two types of mindsets with my athletes:
(A) Withdrawal - a fear of the pain and discomfort and an inability to play at 70, 80, or even 90%. It is better to sit and wait for the discomfort to leave then to sprint towards recovery. 
(B) Hunger - due to absence from play the love for the sport/grind grows. Rehab is as intense as sports play was and once discomfort becomes bearable they ask for more. 

Character plays a huge roll in how the athlete looks at a situation of misfortune. When someone hasn't had to suffer through hard times they will typically have mindset A. It takes hard times and grit to change their mindset to option B. And when that happens the potential of the mountain they are climbing grows. The journey will become greater because they are better for it. It will teach them how to adapt to adversity and how to be patient. You cannot will your body to heal faster, but you can absorb every opportunity to help the process. I never wish injury on anyone. In fact we have warm ups and drills to REDUCE THE RISK OF INJURY. However, injuries happen. It is just another opportunity to get stronger - mentally, spiritually, and physically. 

Proverbs 24:10 - "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small"

Philippians 4:12-13 "I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."




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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.