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Finding Strength Again After a Career-Ending Injury: A Guide for Teen Athletes

  • By Medical Bulletin 
  • Category: Medical 
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If you’re a young athlete with a promising career ahead of you, getting injured can cause you a tremendous amount of emotional and physical stress, especially if you’re forced to end your career early, or before it can even begin. It’s heartbreaking not just for you, but for your family, teammates, coaches, and everyone who supported you throughout your training as well.

When faced with this challenge, it’s important to know, first and foremost, that you are not alone. Many other athletes, young and old, are going through or have through the same. It’s normal to feel angry and dejected, but just like the strong person that you are, you must strive to stay hopeful and to see the new meaningful life that awaits you.

Here are the healthy and empowering ways to cope with a lasting injury:

1. Learn About Your Injury

By educating yourself about your condition, you’ll be less anxious, and you can focus on the things you can still do. Learn about your diagnosis, determine how long recovery will take, and understand the purpose of the treatments you’re receiving.

And though it’s disheartening to think about having to use a wheelchair, see it in a different light, and appreciate the simple machine for helping you move around easier. Get yourself the best lightweight folding wheelchair,¬†and research about every amazing wheelchair-bound athlete and public figure to motivate yourself.

2. Remain Involved With Your Team

You may initially prefer to distance yourself from your teammates after the injury, but eventually, you have to reconnect with them again. Believe it or not, your teammates understand your pain and are willing to help you cope. Furthermore, staying involved can give you comfort, and it’ll let you see sports from a new perspective. You can pick up new lessons as you keep to the sidelines, and you may even help coach younger trainees.

3. Use Positive Self-Talk

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It’s undeniably difficult to maintain a positive attitude towards yourself as you deal with an injury, but focusing on the negative, such as the things you’re missing out on, will only impede your rehabilitation progress. Therefore, watch your self-talk, ensuring that you’re using empowering words. Set small and attainable goals to motivate yourself and build momentum as you traverse your road to recovery.

4. Engage in Nourishing and Invigorating Activities

Even if you’d only be on a wheelchair for a meantime, still commit yourself to an active lifestyle, because that would be vital to your recovery progress and mental health. When you’re no longer in pain, you can try yoga, making it a point to consult a trained instructor first to ensure that your routines will complement your rehab.

Aerobic exercise and strength training are also beneficial. It can speed up the restoration of your mobility, improve your cardiovascular health, and regain your strength and resistance.

Make time to travel as well. Seeing new sights and learning about the world with your loved ones are the ways to a healthy lifestyle, not to mention fun, because the number of hospitable establishments offering amenities for wheelchair-bound guests is already growing.

5. Find Your Identity Without Sports

Before your injury, you’ve most likely dedicated your entire life to sports, so finding your identity without it can be incredibly challenging. But instead of thinking that you’ve already lost sense of who you are, remember that you are still the same person.

You may not have the same amount of strength and capabilities as before, but your enthusiastic and success-driven soul remains intact. Engage yourself in new activities, and you may find a new passion that will give you a new purpose, and a renewed sense of self.