Were you an young athlete? We were.
Depending on your high school size and location, you might have walked through your school doors with handfuls of options for different clubs and sports teams to join. Over the loud speakers, the announcements shared where to get information on tryouts, team meetings, and other things you needed to know.
Many of us at Active Physical Therapy opted to join our school’s sports teams, vying for a spot on our hockey, track and field, baseball, soccer, gymnastics, water polo, dance, basketball and field hockey teams. We spent hours in practice at school and at home honing our particular craft.
At the time, it consumed our life, maybe only for that season, but often spilled into each month. Funny how at the time, the days felt long, but now it seems like ages ago.
What would you have done differently?
We’ve been focusing on the spring sports the past month on social media (Instagram/Facebook) and it encouraged a time of reflection of our own athletic pursuits. What would we have done differently today–now that we know what we know?
Did we take our sport too seriously? Or not seriously enough?
Did we take advantage of the opportunities in front of us?
Did we feel like we had the support we needed to be our best?
I asked our team, and I’m anonymously sharing their replies below. After you read them, I’m very interested to hear your experiences. Did any of our responses resonate with you? Do you have a different perspective to share? We’d love to hear it!
You Are Stronger Than You Think.
I didn’t realize until I was older that I had a lot more in me and I wasn’t trying as hard as I could.
Now I would say that it’s okay to feel a little discomfort when you’re practicing, you are stronger than you think.
And that nutrition and rest might have played a better role in my high school sports if I spent any time on them too.
Weak and Directionless
I was plagued with injuries. And each time, the doctor/coach wouldn’t know what to do, and I was left to cross train for the most important races of my season.
I wish I would have known the power of specific strengthening exercises to prevent me from ending every track season injured, and that I had access to a physical therapist to educate me on how to STAY healthy, not just react to injury.
I wish someone had told me a little more emphatically that winning isn’t everything! I absolutely hated losing and it would ruin my day.
No Rest Days
I wish I would’ve known that having rest days is a good thing, that you need more protein for recovery than you think, and that changing the sport you play can be good for your body!
Small Changes Lead to Big Results
I wish I would have taken it more seriously and taken advantage of the privileges I had, including having access to a weight room and sports trainer 5 days a week for FREE at my high school.
I also wish I would have gone to a Physical Therapist or any doctor that would have explained how my body was working and what muscles I needed to focus on to achieve the results I wanted.
I could have been 10x better if I had just put in that little extra effort and understood how my body was moving/working.
Enjoy The Process
I think what I would say to my self is to enjoy all the little things of competing and playing a sport you love with some of your best friends. Focus less on the wins and losses and just enjoy the process!
What could you add?
Comment below what lessons you would write your younger athlete self!
Kat, it was a fascinating read! There are always errors that we make as teenagers that we later regret. For example, most youngsters do not comprehend the need to see a physical therapist in the event of a sports injury. They lack a fundamental understanding of how to treat their injuries and workouts to avoid future mishaps by strengthening the muscles.