This week I have been mostly thinking about…injuries

Even with all the prevention strategies in place, injuries can happen. They have a massive impact on everything. Psychologically for the athlete it’s a very difficult time, a lot feelings come and go; fear, anger, regret, disappointment. Part of the coach’s job is to try and turn those negative feelings around and create some positivity in the training environment. To achieve this, new goals in training are needed and making them smaller and more achievable highlights progression and recovery.

Obviously an injury effects physical capabilities, certain movements and exercises become difficult, some become impossible. Adaptations have to be made and some creative thinking employed in order to work with and around the injury (incidentally, for reducing load through the lower limb while maintaining movement competency, suspension trainers do a great job, I’ve been using the fitkit pro version recently) before other exercises can be fed back into training.

You also need a lot of trust in your athlete. You have to trust their ability to give accurate feedback throughout rehab so that progression is as swift and safe as possible. If that ability isn’t there then progress can potentially be slowed because you have to be more guarded in your progressions as the athlete may try to push too hard too quickly. If that ability¬†is there though, then the rehab environment is a much more positive and effective one. Developing that ability though is down to the coach. In the same way you would coach an athlete to understand movements and to interpret proprioceptive feedback, so too do you have to coach progression through injury.

Neil Welch

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