I know this belongs under a different section, but, so many requests for opinions and suggestions in this section by those posting videos, who later on inject … “oh, by the way - I had an injury … etc, etc.” has prompted me to start here.
Specifically, I’d like to address rehabilitation. The process of getting back on one’s feet after an injury. And the process of those involved - directly and indirectly, as it pertains to amateur athletics. I’m also going to keep this simple, brief and open to different points of view. I’m also going to consider the age and experience of the readers, so language will be without technical jargon.
Ok, you got yourself hurt - it’s an injury. You know all to well that it’s difficult, in fact it makes life miserable. And there are decisions that you’re going to making about certain do’s-n-don’ts.
But what decisions will others be making that will affect you? Why? When?
Here are some - not all, of what others will be taking into account.
1.) What is the nature of the injury? Is the injury typical for the age, physique, level of play?
2.) Are there degrees of seriousness for this injury? How serious is this injury?
3.) For the level of competition, what tolerance levels can this injury sustain?
4.) Does the organization have the resources to deal with the injury?
- Are coaches properly trained and screened to manage a rehab program?
- Is the player left to his own devices to recover?
- What is the chain of communications between player, coach, medical specialist?
- What record keeping is mandatory to promote other medical/playing issues.
5.) Are there legal constrains that open the organization to ligation in the future?
6.) Are there legal constrains that open the coaching staff individually?
7.) What has been the track record of the player in the past - health wise?
8.) Does the organization need to involve itself, or, is there ample replacement talent?
9.) How much in time and money is going to be needed with this one player?
Unfortunately, the one word that all players look for in the listing above is the word fairness. And there isn’t a coach on the face of the earth that doesn’t realize this. But then again, amateur baseball is a give and take of things that involve scales of economy, who’s available when and where, and a host of other things. And as cruel as it may seem, being injured doesn’t fit very well or share shelf space with all the other things that a coaching staff has to deal with. This is especially the case with highly competitive clubs that travel in the fast lane, not to mention all the available talent and ambition that’s nipping at a player’s heels when he’s healthy. And even worse for amateur clubs with little to spare in the personnel and money departments.
Then there’s the expectations of performance. “ Can he do it”… “When… how soon?”… “What do we get out of it for our investment?” … “ Is he really worth it?”. Coaches that work with rehab pitchers tend to have a “look-see” itinerary that has be addressed. A certain time-table that should give credence to visible progress. Feedback that goes tick-for-tack with other professionals so those responsible for a decision do so with ample facts, not guess work or assumptions. And these rehab working coaches DO NOT freelance. They are as disciplined as they come, very methodical, very little emotion, all business.
Now the trick to all this as far as an athlete is concerned, is to stay healthy in the first place. Be your own sounding board for reasonable workloads, reasonable performance, and above all know your limits. Listen to that voice inside you - it’s there for a reason. Don’t be intimidated to perform beyond reason. Don’t give in to the will of others. Plan and think out your work loads as if your very survival depended on it. It does.