I'm coaching a training camp, it's scrimmage time. There's a skater who knows that she's injured. She comes up to me and asks if she can/should scrimmage with her injured knee/ankle/shoulder/insert body part here.
Me: All I can say is There's nothing you can do in a scrimmage to make that injury feel better. But there's a lot of things that could happen to make it worse!
Injuries are like magnets in a contact sport. They draw more contact to them! We like to pretend that we have enough control of our bodies to just avoid falling on whatever it is that's hurt. But the truth is, whatever you focus on... gets the most attention.
2) I coached at a camp last year, where a skater injured her shoulder during an exhibition bout.
Another Coach and I each had separated shoulders at one point, and happened to be talking to Injured Skater at the same time. Injured skater did not have health insurance. Neither did either of the coaches talking to her!
Me: I researched the healing process, got a brace at the drug store, wore it every minute of the day that I wasn't at work. I wore it to bed to make up for the hours when I was at work. And I wore it even after it stopped hurting to make sure I didn't use it before it was fully healed. It takes 6-8 weeks.
Other Coach: Yah, they say that. But you can just wear it for like 2 or 3 weeks and you'll be fine!
Me: Really? Does that shoulder ever bother you now?
Other Coach: Yah, sometimes, but you know... whatever!
Me: I DON'T EVEN REMEMBER WHICH SHOULDER I INJURED!!!
I'm not a doctor. In fact, I have a very real phobia of doctors. So I won't be someone who tells you that going to the doctor is always the best choice.
But I can say, no matter what your fears/beliefs/medical ideologies: Healing is better than pretending you're not injured.
For the long term, anyways. Even if it means missing a practice/bout/season. Yes, even if you have to take over a year off, it's still better to treat your body with respect than to not. Because the body can be a real cranky bitch when you don't respect her!!!
Again, take your time and think long term. This also applies to the Come Back. But that's another story! xoxo