Injuries are an unfortunate but common occurrence among all athletes. Though the pain of an injury can be difficult to manage, the mental anguish of not playing is often excruciating.
Like Manning, if you learn to maintain perspective, stay positive and focus on what’s in your power to control, you can return to your sport mentally tougher and physically stronger than before.
The 3 P’s: How to improve your performance while injured
- Perspective – Think of injury as a timeout that allows you to improve key components of your game both physically (muscular imbalance, flexibility, etc.) and mentally. With a break from the countless hours of practice… Now is the time to work on a training regimen that helps you build mental toughness. A Mental Coach is key.
- Positive Mental Toughness – The key to recovery from an injury is to stay positive. Dwelling on negative emotions about being injured can actually delay recovery and increase the likelihood of re-injury. Yes, it stinks that you are injured. Commit to re-focusing your energy on returning to play even better than before.
- Proper Focus – Instead of complaining about what you can’t do while injured, stay focused on what you can do. If you have a lower body injury, take this time to develop some upper body strength. If you have a head injury, review previous performance and take an inventory of physical, mental or technical skills you need to improve. While you may not be able to do everything, you can always do something.
Peyton Manning: Ignore the Noise
At the age of 39, Peyton Manning’s latest injuries (partially torn plantar fascia and a rib injury) have generated tremendous questions regarding his playing status.
Whispers have echoed through the press… “He’s washed up,” “He just can’t throw as well as he used,” and, “He is damaged goods.”
Many people believe backup quarterback Brock Osweiler is a better option for a Bronco playoff run this season.
Despite the potential distractions and injury, Manning refuses to feed into the negativity and continues to focus on playing at a high level in the near future.
MANNING: “I don’t get into the noise. I don’t watch any [sports] TV or read anything.”
That is pretty much all Manning has said about his injury as he has stayed out of the media eye.
Manning wants to block out the distractions and focus on what he can control: recovery, strengthening his body, scouting opponents and finding ways to improve his game… Everything else is noise. Manning isn’t just looking to return to play, but return better than he was before.
Manning is a prime example of how the right perspective while injured can make an athlete physically and mentally tougher.
Tardio Tips: Effective strategies for Positive Mental Toughness while injured:
- Be Positive – No matter what happens and no matter how difficult rehab can be, find something positive to focus on. Attitude is everything and affects everything you do. Each morning, think about 2-3 things that you are grateful for (support of your coach, your mental strength, the opportunity to work on technical skills in greater detail, etc.) and focus on those aspects of your life.
- Get Strong– Find those aspects of your performance that you can improve. Work those little aspects of your game that you have neglected so, when you return to competition, you will be physically and mentally stronger.
Don’t allow injury to devastate you, let it motivate you!