“Injury taught me I need to learn how to face challenges.” – Shawn Johnson
Whatever your sport, reaching your peak for when it matters most can only be achieved through following a progressive training plan. It’s simply not possible to remain at your peak for an entire year, so training programs are designed to include cycles of intense training followed by appropriate rest to ensure you’re in top form for the biggest events in your sport’s calendar and limit the potential for injury.
However, injuries can and do still occur, and when your life revolves around sport, an injury at any point in your training cycle can be a source of extreme frustration. Recovering from an injury is not only a physical process, but it’s also a mental process. If frustration leads to negative thoughts dominating your mind, the negative energy you generate will only prolong the recovery process.
“My body could stand the crutches, but my mind couldn’t stand the sideline.” – Michael Jordan
The road to recovery can only begin with an acceptance of what has happened. Your injury is your reality, so no matter how much you try to deny it or how angry you are about it, it’s still there and you’re going to have to deal with it. You can’t change what has already happened, but you can change what happens next. Anger, frustration, and negative thinking can only ever hold you back. To keep moving and to recover, you need to switch negative energy for positive energy by switching your focus away from what’s behind you and placing it on what’s ahead of you and what can still be achieved once you’ve recovered. The injury was not part of your action plan, but it doesn’t need to be the end of the road.
Everything moves in cycles. Where there’s injury there will also be recovery.
The fastest route between two points is the path of least resistance. The more you battle and rage in frustration, the more resistance you’re creating, and the more you prolong the recovery process. Think of it as swimming against the tide: you’re putting a lot of energy into making very little if any, progress. The fastest way to move in or out from the shore is to let the tide carry you. The tide will always turn.
It takes a positive mental attitude to accept that where you are now is not where you need to stay. Just as a drop in fitness level is accepted in the off-season, knowing that a return to peak fitness will be made through following the training cycle, being out of action through injury needs to be accepted as just part of a natural cycle. A return to fitness can and will be made through following the rehabilitation process, putting positive energy into every phase by thinking positively about what will be gained in recovery rather than dwelling on what has been lost through injury.
As the poster quote says, “Turn your setbacks into comebacks.”
Don MacNaughton is a High-Performance Coach and has worked tirelessly to help clients achieve success in the world of sport and business over the past 15 years. The next, highly popular, NLP Diploma and Life Coaching Certificate course starts in April 2019. Click here for more information or to sign up.