Mentally Overcoming Tough Injuries | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Mentally Overcoming Tough Injuries

October 7, 2011 | Nicholas Welch

Must See Sports Injuries Videos

NFL players suffered some brutal injuries this past weekend. Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison suffered a broken orbital bone around his right eye, and Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle Eric Foster dislocated his ankle.

These and other injured athletes will spend plenty of time working with their trainers to get their bodies back to 100 percent, but the most difficult part of the recovery process may be mental.

Dr. William Parham, a sports psychologist in Irvine, Calif., thinks that injuries are tough to handle for athletes because of their identity. "Participation in athletics, especially at the professional level, is not just participation in a game. It's a part of who that player is. It becomes who they are and how they identify themselves," Parham told ABC News. "When somebody snatches from them the opportunity to express themselves through athletics, that can be devastating."

Daniel Gould, a professor of sports psychology at Michigan State University, says that even when an athlete is completely recovered physically, he or she still might not be mentally ready. "You've done all you could to recover, but until somebody takes a really hard shot at your knee or your ankle, and you can get up, you're not confident," he said in an ABC News interview.

So what should you do when you suffer a painful injury on the field? Drew Brannon, formerly with the University of Georgia's Counseling and Sport Psychology Department, talked to STACK about how athletes can deal with fear of re-injury.

"We have to help the athlete feel comfortable out there," says Brannon. "They have to have realistic expectations. No one expects them to go out there on day one and be just like they were before they were injured. They have to understand that it's going to be a process."

Watch the rest of Brannon's interview to learn more about dealing with fear of re-injury.

Photo:  Associated Press

Topics: NEWS
Must See
Why You Should Never Doubt Colin Kaepernick
Views: 17,496,088
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,551,178
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 7,895,016

Featured Videos

Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall: A Day in the Life Views: 327,109
Path to the Pros 2015: Danny Shelton Views: 161,266
Learn to Hit Open Three-Pointers With Damian Lillard's Baseline Drift Drill Views: 228,843
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

How Greg Nixon Converts Strength to Speed
Views: 959,609
Corey White's Off-Season Guide to Making Plays
Views: 1,396,869
Abby Wambach Will Do Whatever It Takes
Views: 2,814,024
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 3,930,693
Two-Ball Dribbling Drill With John Wall
Views: 3,360,036

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Train With Running Blisters

Logging all those miles is great for building your endurance and increasing your performance, but all that rubbing can be rough on your feet. The result...

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

6 Ways to Prevent Common Sports Injuries

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

Basketball Players: Prevent Ankle Sprains With These 3 Exercises

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

5 Bodyweight Exercises to Prevent Baseball Injuries

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries

5 Things You Can Do to Prevent Muscle Injuries

The Future of Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

The Secret Weapon Powering Stephen Curry's Resurgence

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

Sports Hernias: What You Need to Know

How to Treat Piriformis Syndrome

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

10 Ways to Fix Back Pain

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

STUDY: Imaginary Exercise Helps You Recover Faster From Injury

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

Achilles Tendon Ruptures: Prevention and Recovery

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

7 Ways to Fix Back Pain

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

Coaches: Prevent Injuries With the Recovery Management Tool

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

Eliminate Elbow Pain with These 3 Methods