The process of healing after a sports injury is going to require much more than physical rehabilitation. Many athletes will find themselves dealing with self-confidence issues, stress, anxiety, and even depression.
Some apprehension is a normal reaction and necessary for the body to fully heal, but athletes struggling with overwhelming anxiety should take a look at these few tips to speed up the recovery process.
Create a Tentative Timeline
One of the biggest stressors during recovery is being unsure about the overall timeline of healing. Being mentally prepared and at least getting an idea about the length of recovery is one of the best ways to reduce this stress. Athletes should speak with their doctor and create a physical timeline that they can use to visually track their progress and make minor changes as they continue to heal.
Regain Your Confidence in Parts
Every sport requires a wide variety of mental and physical abilities and it can be heartbreaking to feel as if you have slid backwards with all of these skills.
Instead of attempting to jump right back into your usual routine, a specialist from Alberta Back and Neck Rehab and Sports Injury Clinic says it is best to break down each step of recovery into manageable pieces.
This may start with lower body strength, then moving onto upper body strength, and finally progressing into sport-specific skills and maneuvers.
Contact a Sports Psychologist
A sports psychologist has been trained to help athletes with the wide range of emotions they will feel while competing, training, and recovering. This includes overcoming fear and anxiety after a serious accident or injury.
These specialists often begin with nothing more than a simple test designed to not only test the amount of anxiety that one is feeling, but to also determine exactly why those feelings are taking place and how to overcome them.
Mental and Behavioral Exercises
Mental and psychological recovery should be carried out in tandem with physical rehabilitation in order to get back to competing as quickly as possible. One of the best exercises to carry out is visualization.
This involves taking the time to visualize each aspect of the sporting match or game ranging from the sights and sounds to the emotions just before and during the actual competition. This simple exercise will help to neutralize any anxiety or fear before it ever takes place or worsens.
Athletes thrive on confidence and determination and few things will negatively impact this mindset as profoundly as an injury. Taking the time to understand the physical and psychological aspects of recovery will help to speed up this process while avoiding re-injuring yourself.