Help us to shape the future values and vision of Swim England at our roadshows

5 tips for recovering from injury

Swimmers & Parents

There’s nothing more frustrating for an athlete than picking up an injury, whether it be a slight niggle, or something more serious. Recovering from injury can take time, and as a parent or carer you have a key role to play.

When recovering from injury your child will be desperate to make a full return to swimming as quickly as possible. But in order for your child to return to the pool in as good form as before the injury, it’s key to do as much as possible to aid recovery.

Following the physical rehabilitation programme religiously is essential, but it is important to follow a mental rehab programme too. Here are our 5 tips for parents to young swimmers recovering from injury.

Recovering from injury tips

1. Visualisation

Visualisation provides a link between the body and mind, and can have fantastic benefits when recovering from injury. It can help to keep the mind focused and keep motivation levels high, by acting as a reminder to your young swimmer as to why they want to get back to full fitness. Find out more about visualisation in our article here.

2. Working on weaknesses

Injuries present a great opportunity to work on any weaknesses. For example, a swimmer with a shoulder impingement may use it as an opportunity to improve their kick. Encourage your child to speak to their physio and coach to find out what they can be working on. This could be developing their flexibility, stamina, core stability, technique or strength, for example.

3. Stick with the plan

With most injuries physiotherapists, and sometimes coaches, will recommend certain rehabilitation exercises to aid recovery. Rehab exercises can be painful, tiring, boring and monotonous, but the most important thing is to encourage your child to stick with it.

The competitive nature of sport may mean your child is tempted to go for the ‘more is better’ approach to rehab, so try to make sure they stick to exactly what has been recommended.

4. Watch TV

No seriously, watch TV! Peace and quiet for you parents. Encourage your child to keep their mind in shape by watching any of their swimming role models, or even videos of themselves in action. This will help keep them inspired and motivated, while reinforcing why they are aiming to get back to full fitness.

Watching any sports or sport related films will help act as a reminder that many of sport’s top athletes have recovered from injuries too.

5. Don’t rush

There may be a temptation to get back to full training too early, or to do too much too soon. Work closely with the coach to make sure it’s a gradual build up, to reduce chances of repeating the injury.

Your child needs to learn to listen to what the body is saying. If something hurts, don’t do it. It’s as simple as that.

Hopefully following these simple pieces of advice will help speed recovery and make the rehab process a better experience. The most important thing to remember the whole way through, is to stay positive!