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4 Tips to Keep Your Child Optimistic After a Sports Injury

Injuries can happen to anyone.  But, when it is your own child, it can be really tough!  Knowing how to support your youth athlete when they sustain an injury that keeps them sidelined for a long period of time can make the recovery a little easier for them and for you!

Recovering from injury, especially one that takes weeks or months to heal, is both a physical and mental process.  Here are 4 ways to keep your youth athlete optimistic while they are on the mend!

1.  Set realistic goals and celebrate the small victories along the way. If your athlete had knee surgery, celebrate when they are able to walk again without crutches.  If they had a shoulder injury, celebrate the first time they are able to put their clothes on independently.  Continue setting new goals through each phase of the recovery while still acknowledging how far they have come!

2.  Make sure they are actively participating in their own recovery. Keep them focused on their goals and the progress that they are making when they work hard at their rehab.  Discourage the “why me” attitude when possible and try to highlight the small successes and the physical and mental strength that they are using and gaining!

3.  Connect with other athletes who have overcome injury. Show them that getting back to the game IS possible.  It’s important for athletes to know that they are not alone and that others have gone through injuries and been successful in their recoveries.

4.  Keep their athletic identity. Have your athlete attend practices and games.  Staying involved with their team can help them stay focused on their goals, keep them connected with their teammates, give them an opportunity to learn from the sideline, and it allows their teammates to witness how hard they are working to get back in the game.

If you have further questions or want advice on providing a positive recovery for your youth athlete, please contact Omaha Physical Therapy Institute!  We’d love to help!


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