• Kate Allgood

How to still improve while recovering from an injury

The mental side to recovering from an injury

There is a huge psychological component to recovering from an injury. Many athletes just focus on the physical side to the equation, not understanding that the mental side also needs to be addressed. It is actually through the mental side where an athlete can still improve while they are physically recovering from an injury. One of the biggest psychological factors for an injured athlete is feeling left behind, that everyone else is improving. The good news is there is a way for an injured athlete to continue to improve as well.

Visualization is the key. When we visualize the mind doesn’t know the difference between what we picture in our mind and what we really experience. The same neurons fire as if we are actually doing the thing we are picturing. So every time we see our selfs taking a shot for example or kicking a ball, the same neurons fire and to our mind and body we just kicked the ball or took the shot. So if you have never done something before and you visualize it 100 times, when you go to actually physically do it, to the mind and body it has already done it 100 times. So while you might not be able to physically do something you can still train the deeper underlying mechanisms that allow you to physically do something, and to do in the way you would want.

The other side to look at is, that you are also getting to develop the skill of visualization, which is a skill set, and like anything the more you do it the better you become. When an athlete is injured it gives them more time to work on the mental side to the equation, which ultimately will make them a better athlete. Most athletes physical body is far more developed and trained than the mental side, and this is problematic because when one is stronger than the other, issues can occur (check out the video below for more on that). So having the ability and time to work on the mental side can at times be a blessing, that allows an athlete to come back stronger and better than before.

If you are suffering from an injury and would like to find out more about how we can help you develop the mental game contact us.