They're what all footballers dread the most. Injuries. Despite serious and intense pre-season preparation, they're sometimes unavoidable. They hit you all of a sudden, out of nowhere. They're almost inevitable.
They come when you're least expecting them, often at the worst time, when you're at the top of your game, at your physical peak, scoring goals and winning matches. They're uncompromising, they destroy everything in their wake.
But it's often easier said than done, because you've already started asking yourself questions like:
Attend a physiotherapy session instead of 5-a-side or go window shopping with the missus instead of that weekend derby. It's not easy and things will change in your absence. You just need to know how to make the most of your time out of the game.
- Strength training - 1 physiotherapy session = 1 session of strength training/abs/push-ups
- Drink more water than normal, throughout the day
- Take your name off all your friend's 5-a-side mailing lists
- Go round the house putting away all round objects
The most important and delicate stage that starts with those well-known words: "You can start playing again but take it easy". WARNING, DANGER!
The smell of blood has awakened your player's instinct. "Yes, it's over, I've beaten my injury!" Monumental mistake. Because an injury knows how to go unnoticed, hiding in the shadow so it can come back stronger.
So the last tip is to never, ever start playing again too early and with too much intensity. Try to silence that footballer's voice whispering to you: "You've got a match this weekend, you'll be fine."
Be reasonable, take it gently, join in with a few ball games, play a little casual match at lunchtime with your colleagues.
This is the only way you'll beat your injury and safely get back to your peak. And believe me, it's worth it!