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Dealing With an Injury as A Competitive Archer

If you are now or have been involved in any type of sports, chances are you have had to deal with some sort of injury.  If not, consider yourself to be one of the lucky ones. Take me for an example.  I have torn my ACL and meniscus in my right knee and just recently had a repair on a torn tendon in my left elbow.  There is never a good time to be injured, but we do not always get our way in life.  Just thinking about the time missed doing what we love is a tough enough pill to swallow, then we must give in and deal with the injury and have the problem area corrected.  

Dealing With an Injury – Encouragement

The word injury does not mean you have to stop doing what you love.   It just means you will need to take care of your injury and work hard to make a comeback.  Whether you are a competitive archer or avid hunter, self-care plays a vital role in having a successful outcome.

Tips For the Dealing with an Injury on the Road to Recovery

  1. At home therapy before surgery. In many instances you can take care of some injuries with minor treatment and at home rehabilitation.  Following a strict protocol of exercising regimes for your injured area may work.  I was able to postpone surgery for two years on my elbow.  In the end, my injuries were affecting me and my success competition-wise. 
  2. Do your research on doctors.  I personally reached out to multiple physical therapists and assistants to see whom they would recommend.  They have firsthand knowledge of patients that have been seen for the same injury. 
  3. Aftercare following surgery.  Make sure you choose a physical therapist that can meet your needs, as well as listen and understand your goals.  You must always be honest with doing therapy.  You are the only one that can let the therapist know if the plan is working for you and is causing you pain.  Setbacks are not part of the ideal plan, however reinjuring yourself will only prolong you getting back to doing what you love.
  4. The right equipment. Having the proper equipment for at home (or at the gym) therapy will play a huge role in your success after an injury. 
  5. Do the work. A simple statement with a huge impact.  If you are not putting your all into your recovery, you will not get better.  
  6. Don’t rush to recover.  That is a hard thing for most of us to do.  Getting back to what we love needs time.  Speaking from my own personal experience, I had to learn to let that control go and trust that someone else knew what was best for me. 
  7. Staying focused and keeping up the hard work.  Just because you have had surgery and been to physical therapy doesn’t give you a pass to no longer put in the work.  You will have to stay on top of continued exercise regimen to stay performance ready.  There is no magical cure for an injury.  You must do your part for you to continue to be successful.  
PT for arm injury

Do as I say, not as I do when dealing with an injury

There are many reasons you would want to be successful after an injury.  Being of sound body and mind is very important, but so is doing what you are passionate about. Speaking of my personal experiences, I have learned to “Do as I say and not as I do”.  To get back to top physical strength, you will need to listen to your doctors and therapists.  After all, that is their field of study, not yours.  It pains me to even say that, as I am hard headed, and I am always looking for a shortcut.  My mother used to always tell me that patience was a virtue I did not possess.  When it comes to injury, there are NO shortcuts and patience is key. 

Debi Injury 4 weeks

Athletes dealing with an injury – Inspiration

The late Kobe Bryant (shooting guard and small forward for the Los Angeles Lakers) once went to social media to air his frustrations with an injury to his Achilles tendon.  He was thirty-five years old at the time. He started out by basically saying “Why me”.  As you read on, he was concerned with being older and how he could possibly heal and be as good as before.  There was a lot said on that post, but one thing really stood out to me.  He said “There are far greater issues/challenges in the world than a torn Achilles. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, find the silver lining and get to work with the same belief, same drive, and same conviction as ever”.   It is easy to sit and feel sorry for yourself, but getting up and making yourself the best you can be, will make it worth it.  With time, your body will heal itself and you will be back to doing what you love in no time.  

Read more articles by Debi Martin: Archery Pro Tip – By Debi Martin, A Day In The Life Of An Archer

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