To be honest i’m sure what I want to write here.
I want to tell you that injuries are opportunities to train other areas…..
I want to tell you that there’s always something you can do in terms of training when you have an injury…..
Something that can make you a better athlete (or coach)…..
Truth is, these statements are all true and I believe wholeheartedly in them, I advocate these principles with my athletes and clients and 100% encourage you to do the same…..
But there is a deeper issue to be aware of.
Injuries are tough psychologically……very tough!
I’ve just had a minor elbow injury (golfers elbow/medial elbow pain) and it was really debilitating as I couldn’t get much done without aggravating the injury. Now using the principles above I could certainly adapt my training around the injury. I did some sprinting, some lower body, bodyweight stuff and I did make an attempt to get some work done. But it was tough mentally as I wanted to lift and keep my muscle mass high (as high as it usually is anyway) which is always a problem for me.
So 3 weeks later and I’ve lost about 3kg in total. This is not a good thing for me. Yes i’m reasonably lean but I know I’m going to have to really graft to get that 3-4 kg back on when I recover. Very annoying.
So I’ve had 3 weeks of being very normal in terms of activity levels, 3 weeks of being fed up, 3 weeks of moderate detraining, and also 3 weeks to think about my training from next week (and get frustrated).
So how can we make things easier for our athletes when their injured? Or how can we do things better as coaches/athletes ourselves?
I love the phrase ‘injuries are opportunities to train other areas’ ( I think it was Bill Knowles who came up with this).
But I think when it comes to coaching our athletes we need to follow another principle:
‘Injuries are times to build relationships’.
By this I mean that our athletes need us to keep them motivated EVEN more than normal during these times. Our service needs to be EVEN better than normal, we cannot just forget about them or leave it to the medical staff.
As little as a text every other day is a start.
How about a phone call and a core training circuit to do with us the next day?
These things make a difference when it comes to motivation and preventing de-training, BIG TIME.
Make the effort to make things happen.
My personal strategy?
As a coach this is where I think enlisting the help of another coach is key. Get someone to write you a programme up that you can follow with some reinforcement and make some gains. Thats what i’m going to do.
Coaches make things happen faster, with better quality development, that’s what we do.
Enlist the help of your network.
Get training and get better….