Athletes overcome injuries

Most athletes don’t go into a game thinking it could possibly be their last due to an injury, but being able to push through and overcome is what athletes do best. 

“It made me realize I should not take what I can do for granted,” said sophomore softball player Andi Nelson, who slid into second base in the 2020 season as a freshman and tore her ACL and later her meniscus twice. Nelson used physical therapy to get back to where she is now in her recovery.

With recovery, most athletes are able to get back to where they started.

“All I wanted to do was get back to where I was,” said Nelson.

All I wanted to do was get back to where I was.

— Andi Nelson

Some like Nelson get their seasons taken away from them playing the sport they love, but for a few, the strong love for the sport is what keeps their motivation up to continue playing even through an injury. 

“I didn’t take any time off, but I minimized what I did in practice,” said junior softball player Laycee Josoff who injured her shoulder from overthrowing.

With the injuries that occur, most athletes receive motivation from certain people to push through during the time off. 

“My parents [said] you got to get over it,” said senior volleyball setter Heidi Krajicek. Krajicek rolled her ankle twice playing volleyball yet still managed to play and practice throughout most of her injury and recovery.

However, for some athletes, they are their own motivation and push to recovery. 

“I don’t think there was really anybody, but I think just the want to get back helped me push through,” said Nelson. 

For some athletes without a person to motivate them to overcome injuries, something that is there to help them on their journey back from an injury besides the physical therapy treatment are trainers. Trainers work with athletes to push for an overall goal to recover an injury.

Wendy Mach, a Makovicka trainer, became a trainer to motivate student-athletes to overcome their injuries. From a trainer’s perspective, she knows exactly how athletes feel and how to assist them to get back to where they were in their sport.

“Just because I’ve been through so much myself, I know what they’re going through,” said Mach. Mach visits the school weekly to talk with athletes and attends games to be on standby if anything occurs.

Just because I’ve been through so much myself, I know what they’re going through.

— Wendy Mach

Trainers play a key role in athletes’ recovery. Their goal is to help them recover as soon as possible for the athlete to get back to playing like the way they were before.

Mach described her job as “just getting them back as soon as possible but in the safest way possible as well.”

Trainers are always pushing their athletes in the basic ways that come with training with taping and rehabilitation that most do, but trainers assist a lot to get athletes back with the mental side of recovery as well.

“Sometimes it’s just mentally. The aspect is just a lot of mental,” said Mach.

Most injured athletes are always working safely to get over any injury. The trainers know about the mental recovery just as well as the athletes do.

“There was also a lot of mental to it too because it was just really frustrating. I was just trying so hard to get back,” said Nelson. 

So whether it’s mental or physical recovery, athletes always push through to overcome an injury.

 “Don’t let it get in your head, and you’ll be back sooner or later,” said Krajicek.