#AskAbs – Part 2: How do I bounce back from big injuries & setbacks?

Following injury, what inspired you to get back to fitness and improve your PB? (See previous post)

What advice would you give to athletes recovering from serious injuries or life setbacks?

Oli: “Look thoughtful and wise.” / Me: ….

So my advice would be to ask yourself (and honestly answer) a few questions if you’re recovering from a big injury/life setback…

[1] Consider what you really want

Do you really want to compete again or is this what everybody else wants for you? For life setbacks, consider whether you really want to go back to the life you were just living. What can you switch up? Do you want to work where you’re currently working or does something need to change? E.g. my decision to return to Law 

[2] Set clear goals

What’s the goal? Short, medium, long term? Identify it, draw it, write it, make it clear and prominent.

[3] Create a world-class team

For athletes, make sure your track coach, S&C coach, physio, massage therapist, doctor and key influencers (parents/guardians, if you’re young) are talking. Regularly. Set the egos aside. Make sure they know it’s about helping YOU achieve your goals. Not in an arrogant way. Just in a… let’s make this dream happen together type of way. For others, your set-up may be different, but the principle is always the same.

[4] Expect bad days

They’re gonna happen. Cry if you need to. But don’t carry the bad times around with you. You have to let go and go again the next day. And your team help you to do that so choose them wisely!

[5] PST

PST = Positive Self-talk. When I’m getting back to jumping, I have to force myself to stop saying, “Eurgh! You suck” or “that was a crap jump!”. It’s a constant battle for me. Thankfully I have awesome teammates who encourage me and remind me to see the good. And that mindset infiltrates my self talk until I start to smile, think and say, “Ok. You hit that KPI. Now what’s next?” Its a constant, ongoing growth process.

[6] Celebrate the small wins

Be mindful of the stories you’re telling yourself about each step of your journey. Last year (2018), I opened up my season with 6.30m, 34cm less than my 2015 & 2016 outdoors season opener. I eventually smiled because I celebrated the fact I was in one piece and I had competed for the first time in 2 years. Choose how you want to tell your story.

[7] Focus on one thing at a time

The process is so much more important than the outcome, and particularly so when you are coming back from injuries. COACH Dan Pfaff often reminds me of the problem with absolutes. We cannot live in the 6.80m world (my PB). I jumped that once. In 2012. So, if I judged every performance off that distance, I’d be foolish. Or what about if I judged my short approach sessions off the best distance I’ve ever jumped off 11 strides (6.20ish)? I’d be gutted because, for the most part, my 11 stride jumps range between 5.80-6.10m. Yet so many of us judge ourselves on these extreme metrics/absolutes every day. Don’t do that. I now get to celebrate the post-Achilles rupture PBs and also outright PBs. With that mindset, my crappy 6.whatever season opener in 2018 was a PB. Yay! It’s awesome. You get to do that, too on the comeback!

[8] Let go of expectations

(Now you’re possibly thinking, how does this align with setting clear goals? But it somehow does!) Let go of what you think you SHOULD do. Focus on what you can do and what you’re moving to. Let go of the pressure to perform. Start enjoying the game again. (That one might only be for me, to be honest, cos I can get so uptight! Ha)

[9] Share your journey

Sharing your journey can be helpful, interesting and inspiring! (Hopefully this helps & inspires somebody too…) e.g. Check out my Achilles rehab here and let me know if you have any questions.

What else would you add to this list of questions? I’ve left question 10 to you! 😉

Send more #AskAbs questions my way via DM on my social media below or on my contact form..

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Twitter: @Airozuru

Instagram: @Absisdabest


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