Sport injuries can leave physical pain but others can affect daily lives, and careers. For some athletes, there could be more to injuries than meets the eye during their journey to recovery.

Football, basketball, hockey and gymnastics are amongst the most common sports that sees participants out of action for long periods of time.

Some of the issues/feelings injured athletes deal with:

  • Sadness
  • Isolation
  • Irritation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anger
  • Frustration
  • Depression
  • Disappointment
  • Self-blame

An athlete dealing with long-term injuries will face a number of well-being issues, which can leave some struggling to cope.

Vanessa Jones – Gymnastics

VANESSA FACTS BOX

Vanessa Jones suffered from an injury which was so severe, she is unable to return to any sport.

”JUST BEING SCARED OF DOING SOMETHING EVER AGAIN”

VANESSA JONES, FORMER GB ATHLETE

At the age of ten years old, Jones was called up to the national gymnastics team where she trained alongside the likes of Imogen Cairns.

After representing GB and in the build up to the Olympic trials, one performance went terribly wrong.

Landing a jump awkwardly, Vanessa broke and dislocated her leg. Six months of surgery later, her growth plates were drilled which has stopped her growing… drastically affecting confidence.

Vanessa Jones
Mid-performance: Vanessa Jones, aged 11 at the time (courtesy of Vanessa Jones)

Just missing out on the Olympics was one challenge but Jones said ”It was mainly physiologically that it affected me. Being scared of doing something ever again…in case of injuring myself.”

Due to an injury at a young age, Vanessa faced being teased about her height by other children, causing insecurity and worry.

Vanessa said ”I just didn’t know what to do with myself. Scared…unmotivated. For a while…and I was only just a child too.”

Despite various physio sessions, it was support from family that was crucial to her recovery:

Audio: Vanessa Jones explains how her family helped her through an injury

But it wasn’t until Vanessa turned 21 and her daughter became critically ill that she started to take her mind away from her own injury. In gratitude to the NHS, Jones now has a new career plan that will help her put her past-life as a gymnast behind her.

https://vimeo.com/213862298

Video: Vanessa Jones talks about her new career prospects (music: RAC Records)

Helen Moss – Ice hockey

MOSS FACTS BOX: Photo courtesy of Helen Moss
MOSS FACTS BOX: Photo courtesy of Helen Moss

In 2014, Helen Moss was called to team GB, for the ice hockey world championships, Italy, where they finished with silver as runners-up.

But it was a friendly match against Switzerland days before the tournament started that shaped her career.

”I just felt worthless…a failure”
Helen Moss, FORMER GB ICE HOCKEY DEFENDER

After a fall on the rink during play, Moss suffered a serious knee injury. Watch the video below to hear what happened.

https://vimeo.com/213882429

Video: Helen Moss explains her knee injury (music: royalty free) 

Daily tasks including driving were almost impossible but just like Jones, Helen believes her biggest support were her family.

Helen says; ”I just felt worthless…a failure but they (family) offered a listening-ear, which is probably what I needed most. I needed a way to vent of my frustration.”

After receiving support but unable to retain her elite level in ice hockey, Helen’s now running her own domestic cleaning business and believes her true personality is starting to come back:

Audio: Helen Moss talks about her new outlook on life.

Help from family is clearly crucial for an athlete’s recovery but professional help is still on-hand.

Anyone injured in sport should visit: http://www.sportpsych.co.uk/ or speak to your local GP who can help with recovery. Or tweet us @CBJNews using #GameOfTwoLives with how you dealt with past injuries.