What do I do?
My kid got injured and can’t play! She’s moping around like she’s just been given a death sentence. How do I keep her happy while she has to sit out?
Coach Andy says:
Remember, getting injured can feel like the end of the world, but it doesn’t have to be.
At the very start of the season our star striker Abby (a total mini-Messi) was pushed and fell, sustaining a buckle fracture of her left wrist. The injury left her in a cast for four weeks. Not only was it a huge loss to our team, I know it was a tough time for Abby because that meant four weeks of missing out on inside jokes, four weeks of not seeing her teammates and buddies as much, and four weeks of feeling lost, bored and even a bit scared for her fitness – or even, gulp, worrying if she would be losing her starting spot on the team!
Unfortunately Abby isn’t alone. Loads of kids get hurt playing sports each year and have to miss part or even all of a season. But thankfully, Abby’s parents did a great job of keeping her connected with the team. This was crucial: Not only is it important to help your kid heal, but also try to make sure he or she stays involved in whatever way possible.
Here are three easy tips to help keep your kid in the game, even from the sidelines.
- Stay connected. Try to attend as many games or meets as you can. Sitting with your team on the sidelines will not only signal your commitment to your teammates, it can also help you learn. Watching from the bench provides a very different view – and studying what’s going right and what’s going wrong on the field will make you a much better player. The same thing goes for practices. Try to be there when you can. It means you’re still just as much a part of the team as before your injury and it will make coming back that much easier since you’ll know the drills and the jokes.
- Keep sharp. In Abby’s case, the doctor nixed contact play but she was allowed to kick the ball around on her own. She was able to practice her skills against a wall and even in low-key one-on-one sessions. If your doctor allows you to join in safely then lace up! It’s important to keep in shape and keep your skills sharp.
- Enjoy the break. This might sound like a contradiction to what I’ve just said, but seasons can be long and intense – and there’s nothing wrong with taking time to enjoy some of the things you give up to be on a team. Yes, go to practices and games, but if the extra time means you can read for fun or catch a movie with other friends you don’t see that much, it’s fine to enjoy a break. In fact, you might be more fresh and excited than ever to get back out there.