Injury - Chance to Refine/Retune

Rowden April 2017

● A time of injury is actually an ideal occasion to sit back and have a rethink about your game. It’s a chance to get off the endless roundabout of training, the daily focus on technique and perfection and the pressure and stress of competition and the emphasis on winning

● It’s an opportunity to review recent progress and results and ask yourself if you’re satisfied with your direction. Are you improving and progressing steadily, are there things you need to change, are there ways to play which will lessen future injuries of this nature while still being just as effective as you are now or even more so?
● Don’t just let the time pass idly, use it effectively. Many top athletes find that periods of visualization while injured help them recover more quickly and help them recap on streamlining some of their strokes to prevent a reoccurrence. Visualization also helps to strengthen mental attitudes so that you come back stronger and more resilient
● Visualize also how to play opponents, particularly those who cause you problems. See yourself trying different tactics, see yourself staying calm and relaxed and winning easily, see the expression on your opponent’s face as they lose
● Also visualize yourself encountering problems in a game and coping with them, whether it’s bad or wrong calls from umpires, poor tables or lighting or distractions from other players or coaches. What you have prepared for mentally beforehand is much more easily handled when it actually occurs
● Look also to the long-term during this period of recovery. This can be an opportunity to re-evaluate your self-image, attitudes and just what you think you need to do to attain your full potential. It’s also a chance to listen to your own body more and when you are practising shadow play during recovery, to feel just where your body is tight, tense and in which areas
● Above all this can be an ideal time to build mental strength. Feed yourself with inner pictures of the new, stronger successful you, a you with total focus, concentration and will power and an unshakeable self-belief

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