It does not have to be this way
Every day I speak with athletes who have more injuries than I believe are necessary or acceptable. The list of injuries is getting longer, relative to the decades past. This may be the trend, however no athlete needs to follow the trend. However for them to buck the trend, they will need to think differently, act differently and have different values than those around them. Because too many in the sports circle now accept, embrace and even benefit from this high incidence of injury.
Todays athlete injuries story – shoulder surgery at 17 years of age, multiple shin stress fractures in the next few years, following by multiple ankle joint and ligament strains in the next few years, followed by a dislocated wrist.
The one before – ACL, torn peck, etc etc.
Now I don’t blame the athlete in the first instance, especially when their first injury was in an age when in other aspect of life society does not deem them legally responsible. Noting that the exposure to ‘strength and conditioning’ was about two years prior to the shoulder injury, I confirm another example supporting my hypothesis that if we were to remove all ‘strength and conditioning’ programs globally, the athlete injury rare would halve or more.
In the first instance the sports administrators, coaches, physical coaches, and commercial sellers of goods and services should take a look at their values and competencies. Coaches - if just getting a job gives you a sense of fulfilment, I hope one day you look for more, including best the best you can be for the athlete. However as that is not likely to occur en-mass, the responsibility must come back to the athlete, especially the athlete 18 years or older.
Athletes – it’s time to wake up. You don’t have to be injured. You don’t have to accept this paradigm. But you are going to need to do something about it yourself because no one else is. Its your call. Accept the smorgasbord of injuries like most do – or be different. Find out what you can do to fulfill your potential through injury free training and competing. It is possible. We do it every day.