Injuries and Comebacks

by Matt Cuccaro, Ed.M.

Injuries.  They are a part of every athlete’s life.  Most of us can do our jobs and perform them equally as well with a jammed thumb, pulled quadriceps, or sprained ankle.   An athlete, however, requires a fully functioning body to perform to his or her potential on the field every day.  For this reason the subject of injuries cannot be taken lightly in the world of athletes, especially in the development of young athletes.  At the professional level (see illustration above) athletes are questioned for resting or being a wimp when sitting out with an injury.  On the other hand, they can also can be viewed as foolish or headstrong for playing when they are injured.  It’s a lose-lose situation.  Hopefully when it comes to developing young athletes, the decision becomes a bit easier.  Protect the potential and future career of athletes above winning a youth championship now.  Utilize the appropriate resources available to decide when it’s time to rest and when it’s time to play.  Medical doctors and athletic trainers are a part of sport culture for this exact reason.  Junior coaches, league officials, and parents hold a tremendous responsibility for ensuring the safety and well-being of their athletes.  When it comes to injuries and comebacks maintain long-term perspective for developing an athlete’s life both on and off the field.


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