How To Stop Injuries
Would you believe me if I told you that 99% of injuries that occur in training ARE avoidable?
The one percent injuries that occur are typically ‘out of the blue’ like a torn calf muscle, or an overuse injury (strains and sprains).
Of the 99% of injuries that occur, they are a shared responsibility between partners. They are equally responsible for the injury as it is their egos that get in the way. Often it will be one partner attempting a technique (that they should have refined to apply correctly) whilst the other is being stubborn attempting to escape, or hold on when they have no opportunity to escape. This happens across all levels of the sport.
Lets have a look at the different athletes and how to identify them.
The ‘ego’ athlete.
You don’t have to be a specific gender or size to be an ego athlete. The ego athlete can be a smaller/weaker partner playing a much bigger or stronger teammate, or, the opposite sex thinking they can beat or can’t be beaten. Either way, it is the EGO that needs to be let go!
Some athletes allow their age to ‘replace’ their ego when they play younger athletes. The attitude of ‘I’m older’ and can’t lose to a younger individual is a frequent instigator. These older athletes are more susceptible to injuries and end up taking time off training regularly to recover. They come back to training and the same thing happens again.
The ‘pride’ athlete.
The excuse athlete is one that will say ‘I’m green’ or ‘no one showed me’. These players use pride as their excuse. Instead of asking for assistance they just try to wrench the submission on.
It costs nothing to look at the belt of the teammate you are about to fight with and ask, ‘how do I do X’? It doesn’t matter if the teammate is a two stripe white belt, at the end of the day they’ve been training longer and might just know something.
The ‘gender’ ego.
Typically is a male playing a female, the ultimate in combat. How can the male lose, come on!
This is pure ego and the male has already lost. Importantly they lose more than their ego, they lose respect from their teammates. The rest of the team sees what goes on and will do one of two things, avoid the ego or go out to destroy it. However, trying to destroy the ego can work in reverse as you can fuel the aggressiveness in the athlete.
This goes the opposite way too where a female may go head hunting a male to make a point. Irrespective of getting the submission or not, their ego got in the way.
The ‘I’ve been training as long’ ego.
Athletes that train infrequently (once every couple of weeks) are more susceptible to ‘injuries’ even more so, as they compare themselves to newer people or ones that may have started when they did.
What they don’t realise is that their teammates may attend training on a regular basis and have the skills to back it up.
Unfortunately the infrequent trainer thinks that their skill set should be the same as their teammates, and be able to either beat them or not be beaten. So instead of taking the sport in their stride, go hard at it and suffer the consequences.
The ‘higher belt’ ego.
This is another classic where the higher belt (can even be the coach) take on the young bull with the intent of making them yield. Only to find out that the younger athlete may be way stronger and fitter. They might lack in the skills, but what they lack in they certainly make up with in other areas.
After training for some time coaches can pretty much tell when an injury is going to occur.
The only injuries that should be sustained at training are from repetitive movements, not stretching regularly or not listening to your body. But even then, we can often avoid those injuries.
More often than not, injuries occur at the novice end of the spectrum because the athlete is still learning to let go of their ego.
Even as a black belt I have to check my ego from time to time when I wrestle. I will have the old bull ego, to stop the young bull who more often than not, is stronger and bigger than me. What ends up happening in this scenario is that I am not playing my game, I’m playing the young bull’s game and trust me when I tell you this, I might not tap out, but I certainly lose with the discomfort the next day.
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