By Tom Rohrer, PhD
If you’re an athlete, you know that injuries are part of the game. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, all athletes experience an injury on occasion. And when that happens, finding the right medical team and physical therapists are essential to restoring your physical health and getting you back on the court or field.
But what often isn’t talked about is the mental blocks and trauma that go hand-in-hand with physical injuries. It’s easy to see how an injury impacts the physical aspects of competition, but what about the mental game?
The fact is, sports injuries can create lasting impacts that extend long after the physical injury has healed. Many athletes, after returning to competition, experience anxiety about the injury recurring or sustaining another. Injuries can also have you wondering if you’ll ever return to your pre-injury level of performance. The mental impact of an injury remains in your unconscious.
Mental blocks due to injury can affect all athletes, but especially those participating in high-impact sports such as football, hockey, basketball, and baseball, and sports utilizing repetitive motions such as track and field, swimming, and tennis.
Why? Because worrying about injuries changes the way you move during competition. Perhaps you’re a baseball pitcher who took a line drive off the face or a batter who took a fastball to the jaw. After recovering and returning to play, the next time you take the mound or enter the batter’s box, the unresolved trauma is still at the “back of your mind” or actually deep in your unconscious mind. Those thoughts produce anxiety, and anxiety impacts performance. It’s a vicious cycle.
It doesn’t even have to be a traumatic injury for mental blocks to obstruct your goals and derail your progress. Even something as simple as a sprained ankle for a runner or an injured rotator cuff for a swimmer can impact your performance in the future.
So how do you confront and overcome mental blocks hindering performance due to a physical injury? Many recovering athletes are turning to Brainspotting as a tool to return to a healthy level of athletic production and even beyond.
This therapeutic process identifies the source of the mental block lingering well after your injury has healed. By teaming with Dr. Tom Rohrer, you’ll work together to discover your “brainspot” — the place in your field of vision that allows your brain and body to heal and perform. Once found, your natural ability will take over, doing what it takes to be the best athlete that you’re capable of becoming.
If the fear of reinjury or the anxiety from a previous injury is undermining your bouncing back, Brainspotting is for you. The simple and calming sessions will give you the opportunity you need to overcome your blocks and reach the mental state commonly called “the zone.”
Dr. Rohrer understands your unconscious mind needs rehabilitation just as much as your body after an injury. Whether in person and via video conferencing, the staff at the Brain & Body Performance Center teams up with athletes who’ve experienced injuries to focus on the mental side of recovery. If the mental aspects of an injury are holding you back, contact Dr. Rohrer today.