Post Injury Affecting the Mentality of the Student Athlete

Before entering the world of college athletics, most student athletes have not suffered a major injury. Without being exposed to injury, how does one maintain the mentality that they will return in the same shape they left? In my personal experience I have suffered two injuries in the two years of my collegiate career that have put a halt to my progression. Fortunately I recovered fully from my injuries so my mental toughness was never tested; but what about the athletes whose mental stability is tested. Sometimes it is so hard for an athlete to bounce back from an injury that it seems that they can never fully heal. In these types of situations, how do you deal with this athlete? The simple answer is that you can’t. You can provide an athlete with all the support in the world, but their comeback is ultimately up to them. No matter how much support an athlete may have, if they don’t feel that they can come back at one hundred percent, they will continue to spiral downward and make excuses as to why they are not at their peak performance. At that point in their career, the athlete must make a life or death decision. Do they find continue to fight their way back or do they kill their career? No matter what decision they make, very rarely is this a result of the actual injury. It stems from the mental injury that resulted from the physical injury. As a college athlete we have all showed our ability to go above and beyond our fellow competitors that we deserve to be here; but how do you maintain that dedication, when you no longer have your natural talents to rely on?

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