The majority of football players suffer an injury at some point in their career; it could be minor or major in nature. Some sports injury occurs to an athlete during an exercise, practice or while playing the game. Each football injury is different in nature and the complexity of the injury can be determined upon examining the injury and its damage to an athlete. Each injury is unique with its own set of physical limitations, complications, mental obstacles, traumas, recovery period and final outcome of the injury.
The football injuries are varying in nature, from a bad bruise to a broken ankle, a torn metatarsal or an anterior cruciate ligament. Whatever degree or name the injury is called, it usually affects the player’s strength and ability to play. Sometimes, it needs a longer period of recovery due to nature of the injury. Football injury can be very frustrating for a player and sometimes, the player has to take a break from the game due to inability to play and get enough time for recovery. Some players are known for their game, self-esteem and identity completely depend on their performance in the game. When a player is injured and forced to take breaks from the game, it is very frustrating and devastating for a player. This player’s dignity and self-respect gets hurt and sometimes it even affects his psychological and mental wellbeing.
Some football injuries can be cured with minor treatment or with help of a physiotherapy session and can be recovered quickly and easily. While some injuries are complex in nature and requires specialist doctors advice or even surgery which means that recovery time is longer, some are not as stressful as the others and a just referred to as ‘‘knocks’’ which players can relatively shake off. It all depends on the severity of the injury and the damage caused due to injury. Following an injury, the player’s reaction to the injury is visible and coach should recognise the same and respond to the situation accordingly. Sometimes, players recover physically but his mental status remains in trauma and that affects his overall performance in the game.
Injury specific process
When a player gets injured, the first thing that comes to his mind is the pain and the severity of pain and its consequences. He may get fearful about his career and recovery process. This affects his mental ability to focus on the injury and recovery. He starts thinking whether he will be able to recover fully and join back the team. This creates uncertainty for an athlete about his football career, full recovery and career opportunities as a team player.
Football injury can be devastating for any player. The player becomes negative and sensitive about his career. He develops disbelief, negativity, self-pity and mood disruption due to fear, anxiety and emotional trauma.
Positive Attitude and Management
When a player is injured, it is very important for him to take this constructively without affecting his overall well-being. The player should show a positive and optimistic attitude towards his injury which helps to improve the healing time. Players should learn to manage new challenges which they face due to the injury and should be positive towards all career goals to recover fully in the shortest period of time.
For players who have suffered career-threatening injuries, it is important to meet with sports psychologists who are very good at goal setting for a player as they are on hand to assist the player to set short- term or intermediate goals in the recovery process and in the stages to achieve the best results. The psychologists assist the player to set injury rehabilitation goals which are realistic and within the reach of a player to rebuild a stronger mental capacity and will power. It is very important for a player to seek medical professional and sports psychologist help in case of a football injury.
Suspension Process in Football
The football game is temporarily suspended following an injury. When serious injury is suspected, all officials are aware that the safety of the player is critical, and they must suspend the game immediately. It is the referee’s responsibility to know where the ball is when the game is suspended. The official or a referee should not delay the suspension due to injury for the possession of the ball by any of the team. It is most important to get the injury taken care of first and then the game can always be restarted with a drop ball. In some cases, a player may indicate some serious injury signs or symptoms such as dizziness, severe headache, nausea, blurred vision, lack of energy, loss of orientation, loss of consciousness, sensitivity to light and sound, unsure of game score or opponent, easily confused, poor concentration and slow thought process. These can very alerting signs and symptoms for a referee and must suspend the game immediately.
If the player suffers from head injury for any reason like accidental head butt or a falling on the ground or hit by the opponent team or concussion, it is the duty of the referee to suspend the game immediately, albeit temporarily and have medical professional examine the player for any minor or major injury to his head. Following the injury, if the game is temporarily suspended, if neither of the team is in possession of the ball, the drop ball should be taken from the spot of the ball when the game is resumed.
So, it is important in a football game to understand the protocol about the suspension due to injury. It is the first duty of the referee and the officials to take care of the injured player first without delay by suspending the game temporarily. The nature of the injury, especially for head injury will not be known until the player is examined by the medical professional on immediately.