Parents Coming back from injury

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Proud Parent
May 25, 2012
My 9 year old daughter had a shoulder injury(growth plate fracture) just before Christmas, she was out of gym for 6 weeks (came in to condition only, but took 2 full weeks off) and has been back in the gym now for ~2 weeks. She is SUPER discouraged because she has lost a ton of strength. She can no longer climb the rope without feet, can't do a press handstand anymore etc. I've been encouraging her and trying to act like its not a big deal and she will be back at full strength again soon. Her coaches have also been easing her back into things, especially on floor and bars. (she was SO upset that she only got to do tap swings the first week back and she still isn't tumbling on the hard floor just out of caution)

How long does it generally take to get back to where you were after being out for 6 weeks with an injury like this? Any advice to make her feel better about herself? I'm not worried at all, but she doesn't seem to want to listen to me and her negativity is driving me CRAZY.
You could be telling my kid's story! She broke her shoulder growth plate in mid-October (she was 9 at the time...just turned 10) and was out for 6 weeks, just conditioning and then returned limited capacity for an additional 2 weeks. She was weak and had lost motion of the shoulder making everything pretty crooked and difficult. The story of hope I have to offer is limited, but still hopeful. She is still not back to where she was but she is able to compete and just had to replace some of her better skills with limited ones (ie changed her beam series from a BWO_BHS since she is still struggling with a BWO bc of the shoulder and struggling to get her clear hip to a handstand, so takes the score hit and goes to whatever she can muster).

She is disappointed with her scores and with losing skills she had been doing really well pre-injury, and with it being in the middle of meet season, she doesn't have a ton of time to work on getting them back...BUT (here comes the hope part, I promise!) little by little, we see improvements in her strength and skills. Since it is so hard to recognize the incremental progress, we keep a therapy log where we track what she can do week to week. Looking back even 6 weeks ago, she has doubled the number of pushups she can do, she can climb the rope again, her clear hip is at least 30-45 degrees higher (when she focuses on it!), etc. But if she tracked progress daily, it would be really disappointing.

Does your daughter have a home PT program? I think that help my kid feel more empowered at she had something she could independently do to get better.

Good luck! I know how much it stinks!
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You don’t have to act like it’s not a big deal. It is not a big deal to need time to work back into things after time off. Its normal and expected.

Remind her her coaches want her to do things safely. Rushing means at risk before injury/reinjury. Strong tap swings are a huge thing for bar progression, huge.

Take out a video of her first learning a skill that took a while so she can how far she came and how long it took.

Do an end of week wrap up. So she can see her improvement, from the week before. Be specfic, last week you could only do x pull ups, this week y.

I don’t know you and your kid. When mine gets on the self pity pot to an extreme. I run with it to the extreme.

Your right you’ll never ever get it, with lots of sighs and eye should just quit. Of course, if we lost patience with you, you wouldn’t be walking and talking..... Remember when you thought xyz was hard and you would neevvver get it......
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The tracking the progress ideas are great! If your daughter is open to advice, try asking what could be positive about all this? She'll prbly say nothing lol But, ultimately she can come back stronger, healthier, and smarter than before. More importantly, going through this can give her a greater level of mental toughness. She is going to have more determination, confidence, and ‘never quit’ attitude, that many competitors at her level won’t have. In other words, working through this the right way can ultimately give her an edge.

Finding and focusing on the good that will come out of this can allow her give it the 'meaning' that helps her. You could even show her some stories of other athletes (like Mary Lou Retton or Simone Biles) that have worked through an injury, and what their comeback was like.

Also, there are lots of resources that show how a positive mindset can impact recovery. Maybe show her how keeping her words and internal dialogue positive can actually help her get back where she wants to be faster. Best of luck!!
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