How To Handle Playing Soccer With an Injury

The anguish of an injury - (Photo:

The inevitable concern with any competitive sport is injury.  Whether it’s something as light as a knee bruise, or as terrible as a torn ACL, soccer is a sport that often requires a player to spend time out on the sideline, and can even force players to have to play through the pain.  Although such experiences are quite horrible, they do build a person’s character and test their resolve.  Only the strong can maintain the strength and focus to persevere through their own pains and injuries.

Any player who plays the sport of soccer professionally will have at some time had to deal with an injury.  While some players’ careers are basically ravaged through injuries (for instance, Abou Diaby), others can deal with their issues and come back stronger than ever.  For example, Aaron Ramsey had just broken into the first team at Arsenal back in 2010, before a dangerous and reckless tackle shattered his leg into pieces and left him sidelined for an entire year.  Spending the last few seasons regaining his confidence and form, Ramsey is now one of the key players at the club and is near the league leaders in goals scored with 8.  He is the perfect example of a player fighting through an injury and battling back.

When a player gets injured it can be a terrible experience.  Not only does the player miss out on games and other soccer team fun, but their development is set back and they are in pain.  While the initial thoughts in most players is to get back into the action as soon as possible and to fight through the pain, that can be a very dangerous plan.  Rushing back from an injury can lead to a worse injury will ultimately set you back even further.  Perhaps you suffered an ankle sprain, which typically takes 2 weeks to heal from.  If you rush back after the first week, you could potentially sprain the already-weakened ankle even further, putting you on the sideline for a month.  Perhaps you should just wait the extra week for your body to heal and come back in time.

For youth soccer players, injuries can be very frustrating because the seasons are so short.  Typically just lasting several months, a moderate injury could end their season.  Although that can be a hard prospect to accept, realize that there will always be another season in the future.  Focus on getting healthy before rushing back into the action.

Some injuries do enable a player to come back soon, although there will be pain in playing.  This occurs when the risk of further injury is limited and the player merely has to battle the pain to play.  In these situations, a player needs to assess their situation logically and find out where they stand.  Sometimes a pain will simply be too great to handle and will prevent you from adequately performing for your team.  Be smart with yourself and be prepared to sit a few matches out.  Although you want to be the tough guy, sometimes sitting a game out and sparing yourself the pain is actually what is best for yourself and your soccer team.


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