Injuries are a part of sport. Some sports are more prone to injuries, while others are not. Of course, a player can take preventive measures to reduce the risk of injury. Though this helps, it will not eliminate injuries.
Especially when younger players incur or are the reason for the injuries, they will get down on themselves, lose interest in the sport, or play in a less aggressive manner. As parents, coaches, fans, or teammates, it is our duty to make sure that these players understand the nature of sport and are able to get beyond this feeling of distress.
Let be clear, injuries are something that are a serious issues and injuries in hockey can be severe enough to lead to further health problems, paralysis and death. I am not saying it is easy for a player to get over an injury or to come back after causing injury to another player.
The line is distinctly drawn in the sand if the player deliberately injures or intends to injure another player. At this point, the player has to be disciplined appropriately and as harsh as it sounds, psychologically evaluated. If a player consciously makes the decision to injure or attempt to injure another player, there is more than likely some deeper issues that need resolution.
If you are the player injured, my advice to you is to maintain your fitness level, attend team functions, and prepare yourself to get back in the game. You can maintain your fitness level by attending physical therapy sessions. The professionals here will put through a series of rigorous exercises that will help aid in your recovery and build complementary strength around your injury as to prevent re-injury.
If you continue to attend team functions you will feel as if you are still part of the team. As much as it stinks watching from the stands, you should be there to support your team. Also, there is a lot you can learn from watching the game that you cannot see from the bench or while on the ice. This will also mentally prepare you for getting back in the game.
Coming back from injury is more psychological than most think. The longer it requires to recover from injury, the more psychological the process becomes. If you miss a weekend games you will bounce back faster than missing a month of activity.
Players will second-guess their recovery, their strength and their ability to participate at their previous level. Players will be afraid of re-injury, they will be afraid they are not as strong as they once were and they will feel that they ‘lost’ something when they became injured.
From the standpoint of a player involved in an instance where they caused injury, it is more psychological than anything else. The player will obviously feel many emotions raging from anger to sadness. They will feel that it is solely their fault, when in many instances it is the nature of the game.
The player has to understand that many circumstances led up to the injury. While there are times when players could have prevented injuring another player, most often this is not the case. They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The player involved in the injury of another player need to be reassured that they were playing within the rules of the game and that accidents happen. This is the case assuming that they were not deliberately trying to injure the player.
Most plays that result in injury will also result in some form of penalty to the player. This is common in your checking-from-behind penalties and will most likely result in expulsion from the game and possibly the following game. This further damages the player psychologically as they feel like they are hurting their team also.
Once again, the player has to be surrounded by positive thoughts, encouragement and explanation as to the fact that injuries happen and are part of the game. Though everyone should process and feel emotions, there is no need for the player to dwell on these emotions.
In the end, most injuries are accidental in nature. Players on both sides need to understand this and come to grips with the fact that in sport as in life there are inherent risks with everything. Players that are playing the game the way it was meant to be played, cannot discontinue this play after injury. Though never fun, injuries can and will happen. Remember to keep your head up and do not let an injury discourage you.