An injury is something that every athlete hopes they will never experience in their athletic career. However, because the sport requires you to push your body to its maximum, injuries are common. Although they are unwanted, if you do get injured, there are ways that you can continue to improve on the sideline until you are healed.
To keep in mind, you have to take what your doctor and physical therapist say seriously. They may not always tell you what you want to hear, and the timeline of healing may be longer than you think, but you have to listen to them. If you don’t take your physical therapy seriously and try to get back to 100 percent before your body is ready, you could risk the chance of re-injury or an even worse injury that may put you out for an entire season.
Search for exercises that you can work on that won’t affect your injury. There are tons of free exercises online. All you have to do is search for what type of workout you would like. Fitnessblender.com has thousands of free workouts that you can filter to a specific body part, length, difficulty, etc. There are also thousands of workouts that you can find on Instagram and YouTube. There are many fitness influencers on social media who provide free workouts and content to their followers. Ensure that you are being safe about the kinds of workouts you are doing and that they are not impacting your injury at all. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or your physical therapist. They can even provide you with exercises to do to help you recover from your injury.
Spend Extra Time Stretching
Another thing that is especially important to spend some extra time on is stretching. Both men and women in cheer need some flexibility. Leg and hip flexibility are required for jumps and body positions for flyers. Wrist and shoulder flexibility is required for all bases in stunts. No matter what position you do on the team, it would help if you had some flexibility. Please take the opportunity to work on it while you are sidelined with your injury. Once again, make sure that you are safe about this.
Mentally, there are many things that you can do while you are injured. It may be hard to go to practice and not be able to participate. No cheerleader wants to be sitting on the side of the mat. Instead of letting the negative take over your thoughts, try to use the downtime to do positive mental work. Make goals for yourself for when you get healthy again. Think about what you want to accomplish in the season and your cheer career, and think about how you can make it happen. You can also visualize. Visualization is a potent tool to use. Just because you can’t physically do the skills at the moment, if you do them in your mind over and over, you will go back to doing them with more confidence than ever before.
Go To Practice
Another positive that you can engage in is to cheer on your teammates during practice. Just because you are injured, it doesn’t mean that you are off the team. Stay involved in practice. Talk to people, push them, cheer them on. This will not only make you feel good, but it will make your teammates feel good too. It is a confirmation that you care about them, and you believe in them. Looking at the team from a different perspective can help how you see them. When you are on the mat, you only see the people around you, and you are mostly focused on what you are doing. Sitting in front of the team while they do the routine allows you to see every part. You can see what everyone is doing to contribute to the team, and it will give you a new appreciation for the work that every member is doing.
Even though you are injured, you can still improve yourself physically and mentally from the sideline. Take the opportunity to make those improvements instead of just sitting and doing nothing. Your injury will heal, and you will be able to go back to doing what you love to do. Listen to your doctor and physical therapist because they will know how to get you back to cheering as soon as possible.