My work in the world of sports performance is very rewarding and exciting. I am blessed to work with some of the best athletes in the country. I am fortunate to see them achieve tremendous highs in their careers as athletes. Unfortunately, I see many of them after they have experienced devastating lows. These lows come from poor performances or, in some cases, a serious sports-related injury. Some of the time I see an athlete after they have suffered an injury, but often I am present when an athlete is injured. Through my trained eye, I can see the impact of the injury on the athlete and the athlete’s system.
A sports-related injury happens to the athlete but impacts many others in this system. By system, I mean the support team of the athlete. Parents, grandparents, siblings, teammates, coaches, trainers, instructors, teachers, and friends are all profoundly affected by the injury.
I was at a baseball game a few weeks ago, and a player was hit in the head with a fastball. He went down hard. When the pitch hit him, there was a collective moan from the crowd. In an instant, his coaches and trainers were around him. When they got to him, he was in pretty bad shape. Most of the crowd was on their feet, watching. Many had their hands on their heads, hoping he was all right. His teammates gathered outside the dugout, held hands, and prayed. The opposing team gathered around the pitcher’s mound and consoled the pitcher.
He was very upset. The batter lay motionless on home plate for about 5 minutes. When his legs began to move, people began to chatter quietly. He was carted off the field on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to the emergency room. There was a loud ovation from the crowd, and after the ambulance drove off, play was resumed. The pitcher took a new ball from the catcher, everyone sat down again, and play resumed. Or so we think. [Read more…]