No one likes to be injured. An injury can impact your life in many different ways; especially if you’re an athlete. Young athletes like gymnasts live and breathe their sport, which means when they are unexpectedly taken out of the sport with an injury, they are vulnerable to stress, fear, depression, and even a loss of identity. One of the ways to avoid the adverse effects of a gymnastics injury is to know how to cheer up an injured athlete before they get hurt at practice or competition. Below we will go over several ways you can cheer up the athlete in your life when they are faced with an injury.
Keep Taking them to Practice
Many athletes think an injury means they can’t go to practice. This simply isn’t true. When you talk to the coach, you’ll probably find that they want your athlete to come to practice as much as possible. For example, gymnasts can go to the gym and work on skills that aren’t affected by their injury. For instance, a knee injury doesn’t hold a gymnast back from core work, and it also gives the athlete time to spend with the team, which can help them not lose their sense of identity.
Sign Them Up for a Class
Gymnasts dedicate a ton of time to the gym. Chances are whether your child is a gymnast or you know a gymnast, you understand this very well. In fact, there may be something that a gymnast has always wanted to try but couldn’t because of their gym schedule. An injury gives your athlete unplanned downtime, which makes it the perfect time to indulge in something they wouldn’t normally have time to do. Maybe they want to take a painting class at the local art center, or sing in a kid’s choir. Both of these activities give them an opportunity to spend time with kids their own age and won’t affect their injury or healing time.
Give them Gifts
I know what you’re thinking, really? Well, yes! If your athlete is super sad about missing a big meet or not being able to hit the gym floor with their friends, you may want to spoil them with something a bit special. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant; a book from their favorite author, a pair of shorts they’ve had their eye on, or something you know would love can help them lift their spirits, and put them in a better mood.
Embrace Family Time
For some gymnast, family time is the time it takes to get from the house to the gym and back. During an injury, your gymnast will have more time on their hands, which makes it the perfect time to embrace family time. Enjoy having dinner at a regular hour, take a weekend trip, or make a craft project at home. Whatever you do to help your gymnast take time off their injury is a good idea.
Get Lost in Books
If your gymnast is having a hard time dealing with their injury check out your local bookstore. Here, you will find a ton of self-help books that deal with visualization, breathing, meditation, and so much more. Let your gymnast take the lead when it comes to the books they want to read. You can feel free to make suggestions, but let them make the majority of the decisions.
Plan Something Epic
Teammates are friends in and out of the gym. If your kid is feeling bad about not spending as much time with their friends, plan something epic that doesn’t require them to be at the gym. For instance, you can host a team party at your house or take them all out to eat at their favorite restaurant. It’s a good way to let your athlete know that they are still part of the team, and their injury isn’t going to keep them away forever. If an injury is going to keep your gymnast out of the gym for good, these types of outings help the athlete realize they have friends no matter what.
Take a Vacation
Does your family often wish they could get away for a weekend but can’t because of practice and competition schedules? If so, take the time to do this while your child is out with an injury. Make sure that whatever you choose will be comfortable for your injured athlete, but get away from town. Do something you’ve wanted to do and make memories. When you do this, you’re helping your child create happy memories during a time that is sad.
If you didn’t know before you read this young athletes in any sport can get depressed. Fear of going back to the gym, worry that others are getting better while they’re sliding backward, and a loss of identity can be intense. In fact, some gymnasts who face severe injuries aren’t able to go back to the gym because their fear of injuries is just too intense. To help avoid these types of situations, you may want to consider counseling. Any children’s counselor can help with these types of cases, but it’s best to choose a counselor that is trained in dealing with children overcoming fears or anxiety. Through counseling, your child may be able to keep their injury in perspective while they heal and plan to go back to the sport they love in the future.
Whether your athlete is dealing with crutches, a brace, or a backache that is keeping them out of the gym, you’ll want to make sure help them deal with it. Cheering them up, spending time with them, and making sure they are connecting with friends is the best medicine an injured athlete needs. It’s also important to communicate with coaches and make sure your athlete is spending some time at the gym or with her team – even if it’s just to cheer on his or her teammates.
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