5 Steps To Mentally Recovering After An Injury


The moments following an injury can be very crucial in an athlete’s career.  Most often athletes are completely devastated and never seem to regroup while others come back even better than before their injury.  Here are some ways to mentally recover from an injury in order to regain confidence before returning to competition.


There is no better time to start training your mind than during the recovery phase of an injury.  Most likely you are unable to fully participate in practices, strength training, conditioning and drilling the fundamentals during the recovery phase so why not devote this time period to properly training your mind?



HOPE can be defined by using a few simple acronyms; Hold On Possibilities Exist or Hearing Other People’s Experiences.  Make a list of athletes that are similar to you or had a very similar injury as you that were able to bounce back from their injury and came back even better than before their injuries occurred. 


Develop Self Belief:

We cannot go back and change the fact that we are injured or that event happened so it is extremely crucial to believe that this injury may have been the best thing that could have ever happened to you.  Make a list of why this injury was the best thing that could have happened to you. Strength training the muscles that are still healthy, improving your flexibility, eating healthier and becoming more of a student of the sport are all great examples of other areas you may have been lacking in when you were healthy that you can now focus on during the recovery phase of your injury.


Design & Implement An Action Plan:

Whenever there’s a change in your schedule it is extremely important to write down a very specific detailed list of actions you are going to complete on a daily basis. Completing these tasks consistently will drastically improve your mental toughness and confidence when you return to competition.


Sign A Expert Checklist:

Before you are finally ready to return to competition you will want to make sure that your health care professionals that were following you through the recovery process as well as your parents and coaches are fully confident that you are physically recovered and ready to return to competition.  Have everyone in your support system including yourself sign a contract that states they believe you are ready to return to competition. Once you make the final decision to return to competition you have to put all feelings such as using the injury as an excuse for poor performance aside. If you aren’t able to do this then you may want to revisit your action plan and continue training your mind until you are fully confident in your abilities to perform at your highest level possible.

Respond Positively:

It’s your choice as to how you are going to respond after an injury which will ultimately determine the outcome for your future. A great simplified equation that summarizes this very exact statement is: E + R = O.  

Any Event results in a Response which determines the Outcome.  Apply the strategies given above to help you respond positively and your outcome will look much different.