"Focus on who you are, not who you use to be."
- Paul George
Suffering a serious injury or injuries that keep athletes from playing for a period of time can be difficult to recover from both physically and mentally. Especially when athletes were performing well before the injury.
Fear of failure, fear of re-injury, fear of not being as good as they once were, or the need to push as hard and as quick as they can to get back to form, are thoughts that can consume athletes.
Recovering athletes can’t dwell on how they use to play, or wonder "IF" they will ever be as good as they were before the injury.
Remember to stay focused on the present, don’t rush the process, and work on the little things to get you back to playing with confidence.
This includes creating a checklist for physical fitness that includes rehabilitation exercises, strength and conditioning, rest, nutrition, sleep, and rebuilding the skills and timing to play your sport.
In the same way, creating a mental checklist and verbal cues or mental reminders can be helpful as well!
For example, reminders of why the rehab is important, to push through the training to get the body primed for competition, to rest the body when it’s telling you to stop, to remind yourself why you love what you do, and most of all that you CAN do it!
In the end, when you can embrace the process and focus on the day to day, you will come away being stronger and more resilient in mind and body.
Check out this article on Gordon Hayward and his road back from injury. And see what verbal cues he uses as his reminder to stay confident and to play competitive.
If you want ideas on how to create and maintain your mental checklist, contact us.