How Athletes Can Thrive Through Injury

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Estimated Reading Time: 3 Mins

Being sidelined is never easy. However, in an athlete’s career, there’s a good chance she will find herself out of the game for one reason or another. 

Whether it’s for sickness, small injury, or something larger that keeps them out of the game for months, it’s a reality that most athletes will face. 

While it can prove to be a challenging and sometimes emotional time for some, there are ways that they can actually use this time “out” to their advantage! 

Here are three opportunities that athletes have in order to thrive despite being injured: 

#1: See the Game from a Different Perspective 

When athletes are in their playing environment, they see the game solely as a player or competitor. They play their position and don’t have the ability to see outside of it (in most cases). This is normal and expected!

However, the view from the sidelines is different. Athletes can see the competition as a whole, rather than just their part. This can allow them to see other factors that contribute to their role. 

This could include being able to better see what the opponents are doing, how other positions impact yours, and how the game works as a whole. 

Athletes can also see how others in their position play and how they would do it the same or differently given a similar in-competition situation. 

This can increase confidence as athletes see new opportunities to improve in their position, help them stay engaged, and motivate them to come back stronger with more knowledge of their sport!

#2: Focus On What You CAN Do Rather Than On What You Can’t

It might feel difficult and isolating to not be able to contribute to the team by competing and playing. Athletes start to feel like they can’t do anything if they can’t play/compete/practice…so what’s the point?

However, athletes can choose to turn this around by focusing on what they CAN do, rather than what they can’t. 

Maybe this means working hard on their rehab, competing with restrictions, embracing a new role on the team, and utilizing strengths that transcend the court (like being a leader!)

Yes, it’s easy to focus on what athletes can’t do during this time. However, if they choose to look at the situation differently, they will find there is still much more that they can do to contribute to their team and become a better player. 

#3: Sharpen Your Mental Skills

Being sidelined is the perfect opportunity to work on the mental game. This could include watching more film, reflecting, and visualizing. 

Research shows that visualization is extremely powerful in helping athletes improve their physical game. When we visualize, our brains don’t know the difference between real and imagined. 

Athletes who are injured can use this to their advantage and start to visualize skills and situations so they come back stronger than they were when they left. 

This is an effective way to get reps, even if they can’t do so on the court/field!


There you have it. Athletes who are sick, injured, or sidelined for any reason still have an opportunity to get better and build their confidence! 

This is exactly what we train in our popular mini-course “Thriving Through Injury: How to Turn Your Setback into Your Comeback.” 

In this mini-course, athletes learn the exact steps to using their time on the sidelines to their advantage and come back as a stronger, more confident version of themselves. 

Each short (less than 5 minute, easy to consume) lesson builds on one another to help athletes come to terms with how they are feeling about being sidelined, ways they can use this time to their advantage, and specific activities to implement to improve their mental game while injured. 

Whether your athlete is out for a couple days or several weeks, these skills are invaluable to helping her grow through unexpected times!

You can learn more here!

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