Coach: Are you hurt? Athlete: No Coach, I’m fine. This is heard many times throughout the high school sports world, especially during the season. This is one of the main things coaches or parents over-look when the athlete tells them they are fine, the parents take their word for it, but should they all the time? From my experience the answer would be no!
The reason why parents shouldn’t take their athlete’s word for their condition all the time because many other things always come into play in High-School sports. For example, the parents, coaches, colleges, and none other than, the athlete. All these things play a key role in a serious high school athletes mind, especially the ones who have talent and haven’t bloomed or broken out yet. So, the athletes I am talking about are the “middle class athletes” as I would call them. These athletes are good and have talent but have to work really hard to accomplish what they are striving for. Don’t get me wrong everyone has to work hard to accomplish their goals but there are always some who are born to do what they do. For example, Usain Bolt, Tiger Woods, Jeff Gordon, Freddy Adu and many more. These kinds of athletes are extraordinary who show their exceptional talent as soon as they touch the field, track, court and so on. These would be considered the “high-class” athletes.
I have one great example of a ‘middle class” athlete even though there are much more, which is a runner, Asafa Powell. He is a world class athlete with extraordinary feats. Asafa Powell held the world record for the 100 meter dash and has an Olympic gold medal for the 4×100 meter relay. Asafa Powell at a young age barely won anything he use to get third, seventh, and fifth place when racing but his coach Steven Francis saw the talent in him and worked on it.
There are many High-School athletes in this category right now that feel they have to keep going no matter what if they are going to achieve their goal. They feel that no matter what hindrance get in they way they have to push through even if that hindrance is an injury. When its not a season ending injury that athlete feels they can either over-look that injury and fight through or try to delay the pain until the game or practice is over. For example I know an athlete in High-School who was running track and his ankle was killing him but he brushed it off and took about six Advils in that one day so he could finish the meet. After a few weeks of baring the pain he went to see a doctor and had to get a “boot” on his leg for about three weeks. Luckily he as a track all American, a “high class athlete” and recovered and won a state title in the hurdles. I also know a kid who played baseball and took eight advils in one game just to stay in and keep pitching, he later was done for the whole season and spent maybe more than three months in rehab.
These “pain killers” don’t heal the pain as a matter of fact athletes who take it and continue to play are just making it worst. The thing is the “middle class athletes” see it as there is no time for me to take a break, I can’t fall behind now, my dad is going to kill me if I don’t start or score next week and the list goes on. For these kind of athletes I would say rest, icing and working on something else while healing is your best bet, you don’t want a sprain to end up into a break or a tear to end up into a pulled muscle. Things like being the best is always a process even for the high class athletes. Continue to work hard, never give up and do it smart.