DUAL CAREER TRANSITIONS & NEW ENVIRONMENTS: Transition from healthy to injured

“Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” – Jackie Joyner-Kersee

Transition from Healthy to Injured – some of the challenges that athletes face

One of the biggest challenges that athletes can face is when they become injured. It is a time when the Parent/Guardian can be of the greatest support. Some of the challenges that the Parent/Guardian should be aware that the athlete typically faces:

Time - do and fill with other things Often athletes can in fact have more time, which may be a positive thing but often athletes fill this time with some negative behaviors from an athlete lifestyle point of view. Do other things /fill with other things.
Identity Athletes will question their identity as an athlete if they can’t train as a “normal” athlete would for a prolonged period of time.
Mental Health The stressor of injury and its impact on identity and sense of loss may be a factor in increasing an athletes risk to poor mental health.
Isolation They may not form part of the main group when injured, they may even have to train and rehabilitate on their own.
Frustration Rehabilitation from long term injury is rarely a straight line path and the setbacks can lead to great frustration. Injury might also cause frustration with the loss of opportunity to perform.
Loss of Funding Injury may impact on funding or opportunity to earn from their sport.
Fear Fear (will I get back, will I be as good as I was, will I lose my position, waiting).It can be real or perceived but athletes may lose their position on a team or worry about losing a position on a team when they are injured and not get it back.
Conflict with the Coach It may be a bad behaviour from a coach but often conflict can arise between athlete and coach over different views on an injury and return to play dates for example.
Play through injury, RTP too soon In training environments where there aren’t strict RTP (Return to Play) protocols athletes may or coaches may force athletes to return to training competition too early.
Diet / Nutrition Athletes may not make an adjustment to their requirements when less active during periods of injury or may indulge in bad nutritional habits while injured.
Loss of independence Significant injury may mean loss of ability to drive for example.