Thanks to my editor and good friend, Mark Spoor, for suggesting this topic!
Old farts like me grew up in a world where you just shook off the vast majority of injuries. My fingers all point in unusual directions because when I broke one, I cried a little and then went back in the game. We never even heard of an athletic trainer and unless you were near death, the doctor was a luxury that we tried to avoid at all costs.
Well, this is definitely one of those do as I say not as I did discussions!! Why? Well it appears that more and more softball players are trying to emulate our old school, translated I mean stupid, ways of dealing with injuries.
Many young players now are choosing to keep playing and practicing and going to lessons even when they are injured. And in some cases, potentially seriously injured. And that is a bad thing, no matter what generation you claim to be a part of.
Now, that doesn’t mean that every time something hurts that it is a serious injury. But we really need to start a discussion that will help our players understand that there is a time and a place to suck it up and there is also a very real time to accept the fact that you are injured and need to seek medical attention.
Here are some thoughts to share with our players:
If you can’t sleep because of the pain you are in, you are INJURED!
If you are sore getting out of bed but quickly feel normal you can suck it up.
If you feel nauseated due to the pain you are in, you are INJURED!
If you want to cry every time you move your (shoulder, elbow or wrist), you are INJURED!
If you are limping two days after you twist, jam or tweek something, you are INJURED!
What is the moral of the story?
There is a time to suck it up and keep playing but you need to know the difference. Why? If you suck it up when you are injured you are almost always causing that injury to get worse. You make a bad situation into a terrible one.
Know the difference between hurt and injured and we are all going to be happier.
Being in pain stinks! What stinks even more is turning a small injury into a much bigger problem. In the words of the great Apollo Creed, “Be a thinker, not a stinker!”
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.