Playing Through The Pain, Can Be Just Plain Stupid!
September 18, 2007
You gotta love bravado! Every girl goes gooey over a big tough goalkeeper right? But at the end of the day, how much is too much? Jens Lehmann stated yesterday, before today’s Champion’s League game against Seville that he won’t give into the pain of his elbow injury. While it might score brownie points with the team, I think it is an overall stubborn strategy that Lehmann would well regret.
Some of the following points ring true when one is fighting to recover in time for a crucial match:
Think Straight: Is one game really worth your long-term future? Almunia had played in place of Lehmann since the German had been benched, and by all accounts he has not lived up to expectations. Remembering to think rationally about recuperation, and giving yourself active rest is possibly the best way to get back onto the park quickly. Lehmann will do well to take some time off getting back into form, rather than jumping the gun to get out onto the pitch whilst still injured.
Active Rest: Thinking back a couple of years ago whilst recovering from knee surgery, being active with my recuperation was essential. Many days slipped by where I did not follow my strength training plan, or felt de-motivated by my injury. Now, having come back into training regularly I can see what a major difference it has made to the stabilization and recovery of my knee. If Lehmann focuses on recovery without straining himself, he will be in top form again.
Don’t Half Guess: Thinking that you are right to battle it out on the field whilst injured will only prolong recovery. A lesson from my experience…two years back, while still nursing ligament damage to my knee, I risked playing in a very important semi-final. Now, we subsequently won the match and ended up winning the league, but in that one game I bit off more than I could chew. Having the ACL tear (as most of our readers know) took 2 years out of my development, and I have never really been the same goalkeeper since.
Focusing on the the recovery process should be part of Lehmann’s overall strategy. Being active and staying hungry on a long term goal will help every goalkeeper who faces injury recuperate effectively. So, don’t think you will be a wuss, if you don’t get on the pitch whilst injured. Keeping your smarts, and focusing on active recovery will help get you out on the park quickly, and help you stay there longer.