In the last article of the blog, we talked about injuries in football, and specifically about the important aspects to take into account to enhance the prevention of injuries and thus reduce the risk of suffering them. Correct heating, load control, force work, proprioception, etc. It is an essential part to control in the “pre” of a possible injury.
Today we will continue with the issue of injuries in football, but this time putting the spotlight on the “post”. Above all, in the important role of the psychological factor in long-term injuries.
The psychological factor
As we all know, long-term injuries are the great fear of professional soccer players. Faced with this type of injuries, not all players respond in the same way. There are some who accept it quickly, and they start working from day 1 taking advantage of the situation to grow as a personal challenge, assuming it as part of their profession, while other players receive it as something fearful, negative, and that can truncate the sports career.
We will try to give 6 differential keys of this important process once the injury is confirmed:
1. Patience. The first step is to accept the injury. Be clear that every injury must pass its process, be calm and respect all the steps. Rushing to play again, can mean a relapse and consequently a psychological breakdown.
2. Work correctly with physiotherapists, physical trainers and readaptadores to reduce the recovery period. It is important then that the club where we are betting by these professionals in the structure of the club, allocating resources to it.
3. The will and courage in this recovery period is vital. If the player is mentally positive and strives every day to recover, it is proven that he succeeds.
4. Self-confidence. If the player does not believe in himself and collapses, he will not recover 100%, or he will be afraid to be injured again once he has been released. This can mean that in many duels the player goes with fear, and therefore increases the risk of injury again.
5. The team. The support and transmission of confidence of the team towards the player is key. Knowing that your teammates are waiting for you back because they need you, gives a lot of strength and enthusiasm to the player to return as soon as possible. Falling into oblivion on the part of the team can be very frustrating. For this reason, it is very important not to lose the constant contact with the staff, being present in some of the training sessions, in all matches and talks, etc.
6. The management of the directive. There are clubs where, once the player is injured, they are already looking for a substitute quickly and do not worry about supporting and giving tranquility to the injured player, even diminishing their salary. If the substitute works, nobody remembers the injured person. This can be very hard psychologically for the player, so the context of the club in this sense is very important to take into account before deciding on one project or another.
An excellent exemplary case that we would like to share due to the inspiring capacity it has is that of the great Santi Cazorla, Villareal’s player (ex-Arsenal, Málaga, among others) and of the Spanish National Team.
Example of improvement after 8 operations in the foot, 1 infection, and 2 years without playing football: Go to the article.