Injured Athletes

When an athlete gets hurt, we tend to think about the injury and the athlete from a physical perspective – What did they hurt? How long will the rehab take? This way of thinking about injury neglects the importance of the mental aspect. By helping athletes understand what to expect and what they can do from a psychological and emotional perspective, we can give them additional tools that will help them accomplish their goal of returning to the sport they love physically and mentally strong.


A Recovery Model


Addressing the Mental Aspects of Athletic Injury:

Augmenting the Rehabilitation Process

This program is designed to be a responsive, effective and affordable resource for injured athletes and their families. It consists of two face-to-face appointments and ongoing email, text or phone support throughout the athlete’s recovery. The process goal of the program is to augment the athlete’s physical rehabilitation by addressing the mental aspects of recovering from an injury. The outcome goal of the program is to help the athlete return to play as quickly as possible with confidence equal to, or greater than, what existed prior to being injured.

Program Description

Mental Recovery Plan: This appointment will occur within 48 hours of client contact. During this initial one-hour session athlete and parents will learn about the mental aspects of athletic injury and recovery. They will learn what to expect mentally and emotionally as they move forward on this unexpected journey. They will learn Mental Rehabilitation Strategies that they can use to facilitate a smoother and quicker return to play. In addition to providing helpful tools and strategies for the athlete, the role of parents and coaches will also be addressed. At the end of this session a supportive and productive alliance will have been formed.

Follow-Up Check In: A second one-hour meeting will be scheduled 3 to 4 weeks after injury to assess progress, identify and troubleshoot mental/emotional obstacles, review and refine the Mental Recovery Plan, and provide 1:1 support for the athlete. At this time a plan will be made for providing ongoing support to the athlete and his/her parents.

Ongoing Support: With input from athlete and parents, a plan will be made with respect to how ongoing support will be provided. Options include text messages, email, or phone support. Encouragement and professional resources will be provided throughout the athlete’s recovery.

Outcome: The athlete and parents are assisted and supported through the difficult process of recovering from an injury. The athlete returns to play stronger – physically and mentally – than ever.

How to Help Your Athlete

When athletes get injured they embark on an unwanted journey. It is a challenging journey that involves much more than healing bones, tendons or tissues. It involves the mind just as much as the body. If you question the validity of this statement, just ask any athlete who has experienced a serious injury. By helping injured athletes understand the road in front of them – knowing what to expect and how to navigate some of the twists and turns – we can help them arrive at their desired destination (the court, the field, the pool) more quickly and better prepared. (Click here to continue reading Dr. Pete’s article on helping injured athletes)