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5 things to do whilst out injured to reduce frustration

One of the toughest things for any player to go through in their career is an injury.

If you are not ready mentally for a comeback, you will not be ready physically.

One of the toughest things for any player to go through in their career is an injury.

Frustration, anger and doubt as you ask:

“Why did this happen to me?”
“Will I be replaced?”
“Can I come back from this?”

Each week there is no pre match routine, no pre match nerves and worst of all you are sitting on a bike cycling whilst the boys all have a crack on the training field.

You are in 7 days and doing longer hours than the boys who get to play at the weekend.

You are that down that you can’t even get yourself to the games to support your teammates at weekends, it will just make you feel worse.

There are no positives to come from being injured. Is there?

The harsh reality after an injury is it’s done and theres nothing you can do to change the fact.

The injury now is not that important, how you bounce back from it is the most important.

You will be replaced in the team unless your manager only wants to play with 10 men each week.

The more time you focus on why me?, the less time you are focusing on the comeback.

An overriding feeling when injured is how your teammates will be getting ahead of you and when you return you will be miles off them.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

The 1st thing I would look for any player is for them to understand that they are more than a footballer.

Sounds daft, but let me explain.

If you label yourself as a footballer, that’s all you see in life. Football. That’s the only thing you feel you add to the world.

That is great until it is taken away from you.

Imagine how much easier your injury rehab process would be if you dropped the label footballer and started to see yourself as a person who is surrounded by good people.

The only label you want to give yourself in life is your own name. Someone who has a set of values and also has interests in life out with football.

That is why so many footballers struggle with injury and retirement. They’ve lived life by a label as opposed to seeing football as something that they do as a profession. When football is taken from them, their world then collapses. They suffer, their family suffer and the world suffers as that player goes into a shell.

Here are 5 things you can do to still feel like you are improving and reduce frustrations whilst you are out injured.

1. Chunk your goal down – Focussing on a goal that is months away will leave you frustrated.

2. Become a better teammate – Put time and effort into supporting your teammates. Become a sounding board. Let them know how lucky they are not to be injured.

3. Gratitude – Whilst injured it’s easy to look at what you don’t have. Take time to be grateful for what you do have.

4. Improve family life – What can you do with your girlfriend/wife or kids that you wouldn’t be able to do during the football season?

5. Mindset – Improve your mental game whilst out injured. Learn skills and techniques for building confidence, reacting to mistakes and dealing with negative opinions.

Without a doubt, being out injured is tough, it can lead to a rollercoaster of emotions. There are so many variables that can change whilst you are injured. The one thing that you want to remain consistent is yourself.

Luke Shaw, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Henrik Larsson all came back stronger after serious injury.

Why can’t you?

Just like in so many other areas of football the mental side of the game during injury is not given as much attention as it should be.

If you are not ready mentally for a comeback, you will not be ready physically.

Hopefully, by reading this blog you will have an understanding of some of the things you can do to make it as smooth a process as possible for you in your rehab and comeback.

Best of luck

That is why so many footballers struggle with injury and retirement. They’ve lived life by a label as opposed to seeing football as something that they do as a profession.

By John Johnstone 6th September 2018

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