The most debilitating injury facing professional athletes is depression. The LA Rams sports psychology program leads football players back to health
As the LA Rams players fell to injuries in 2019, they faced two roads to recovery. The most obvious, of course, is the road to recover physically. That relies upon orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and that painful process of load management to exercise but not overtax an athlete’s healing tissues.
The second road involves restoring a healthy frame of mind and perspective. Perhaps even more dangerous to an athlete’s career, the outcome of a physical injury is often depression. That can be more harmful than the physical recovery. Mental Health issues, left untreated, can end the careers of professional athletes before the physical ever completes.
The mental and emotional impact of player injury
When an injury to an athlete occurs, the player must confront their humanity, their fragility, and their fears simultaneously. “Getting back up on the horse” is terrifying to someone whose last athletic effort resulted in a torn Achilles Tendon, or a knee requiring total reconstruction. So how does an athlete get back into the right “frame of mind”?
That falls to the expertise of Dr. Carrie Hastings, the LA Rams sports psychologist. You can listen to her interview from the Play like a Champion podcast. She is an expert in so many relevant areas, and she is a gifted spokesperson and leader in the field of sports psychology.
Pressure pressure, I’ve got pressure
Football players are under tremendous pressure constantly. That amount of constant pressure upon the player from the organization, the fans, and even their own family. So when a player falls to injury, the performance aspect vanishes, but the pressure to perform remains.
So each athlete must learn to develop or maintain, those mental checklists to ensure that an athlete is performing at the top of his game. To see what we mean, here is a seminar video of Dr. Carrie Hastings about identifying Mental/Emotional signs of distress.
Cooper Kupp, Micah Kiser, Joseph Noteboom, John Johnson III, and more
How does that work? Well, part of the process is to engage the athlete to remain “engaged” with their sport by conducting mental repetitions. The initial reaction of athletes is to walk away due to the pain of not participating. But sports psychology helps athletes overcome the feelings of loss, and helps them to focus upon ways to remain in the game, even while they cannot physically participate.
He’s not alone.
Thanks, Dr. Hastings
Even Joseph Noteboom, a player who struggled mightily last season, is back, bigger and better than ever. He has credited his comeback, in part, to team Sports Psychologist, Dr. Carrie Hastings. Part of her process is to watch, envision, and create mental repetitions of ways to improve the performance.
Studies prove that athletes who use that rehabbing “downtime” to improve their mental repetitions and to prepare for when they return to the field actually return a better player than the player before the injury. It’s no coincidence that the LA Rams players who are coming back from last season’s injured reserve list are suddenly getting accolades from position coaches. The LA Rams investing in Sports Psychology has helped them maintain their success.