Injuries in a sport can be a loose term, it can be defined as a couple of bruises, or quickly escalate to a knee or hamstring injury; and even though the pain from the injury itself can be painful, the mental process can be even harder to bear.
Helix Sophomore Kyleen Stahancyk has had to go through this process more than once. Stahancyk has injured her hamstring more than five times, sprained her ankle, hurt her shoulder and is dealing with a hamstring injury again currently.
Going through this process she says is more physically tolling than mentally, although she does agree that, “You have to be mentally strong to play sports.”
Stahancyk seems to be the only one on her basketball and volleyball teams that gets injured constantly. Her team members mainly get a couple of bruises, but she says that she seems to be the most accident prone, in her own words.
When Stahancyk first injured her hamstring last year in volleyball season, she could barely even walk. The sophomore had first injured it by making a dive towards the ball during a volleyball match last year; then the added effect of Stahancyk jumping to block the volleyball later in the same match hurt it even more. Her father, who is a big support in her life pushed her to try to exercise it some.
“My dad was a big help in my hamstring recovery,” she says.
The recovery process for athletes; young or old, can definitely be a hard one. Many girls on the basketball team have been injured, for instance. For most, it’s just a few bruises but more severe injuries can come later on.
To help prevent injuries, the girls often wear some type of brace, and most wear two ankle braces. Stahancyk says, “Most girls wear two ankle braces, but the thing is, the shock needs to go somewhere so it'll go to their knees.”
Research on a variety of athletes, both men and women, tend to show that women get more knee injuries than men; both Stahancyk and No’alani Malumaleumu a junior at Helix, agree with these findings.
Stahancyk has dealt with many injuries of her own, and has had her fair time of rehabilitation; however Malumaleumu is dealing with this now.
The threat of an injury that can take an athlete who is passionate about their sports is very real and scary to athletes. Malumaleumu and Stahancyk both felt that once they had been injured, that they wouldn’t be able to play again.
Mentally, for Malumaleumu, it’s difficult. “I’d say it’s more mentally tolling because you have to deal with the fact that you can't play sports,” she said about her situation.
Malumaleumu is currently dealing with a knee injury and has been wearing a brace for about three weeks now. There is a light to the end of this tunnel, however. “I have to wear it for about three more months, but I'm cleared to play basketball now,” said Malumaleumu
The mental process between how a rehabilitated and a healthy athlete who is currently going through an injury for the first time is very similar but also different.
Both athletes worry that their injury may stop them from playing sports, and not so similarly, they deal with the pain differently.
Hopefully in the future, these two athletes can continue doing what they love; which is to play sports. And as a bonus, keep from going into the hospital!