Sunday, July 14, 2024

Cassie’s Corner: Conquering the pain of injuries

I feel for Nick, James, Ramy and Joelle as they battle back to peak condition

Nick Matthew had time to reflect on his operation after beating James Willstrop in Glasgow
Nick Matthew had time to reflect on his operation after beating James Willstrop in Glasgow

Injuries unfortunately are a part of playing sport. Whether you compete socially or professionally in the back of your mind you know there is a chance that an injury may occur.

It can be a 10 year old rolling her ankle on a netball court or a rugby player injuring his knee. When sport is your livelihood then any injury becomes a lot more serious.

Squash is such a physical game where the body is put through so much day in day out in training and match play.

I think that most players will acknowledge that there aren’t many days where you wake up and the body feels fantastic (especially as you get older!).

There is usually some part of the body that is stiff or sore but once on court and warmed up the adrenalin takes over and you play through it. The body is trained to cope with the training and matches but sometimes it breaks down and that’s when the injury occurs.

I have come to the conclusion that there are a few types of injuries.

1. The wear and tear injury.

2. The way you are built injury.

3. The plain unlucky injury.

Sorry, not very scientifically put, and if anyone can think of any more I would love to hear from them. Whatever kind of injury it is you then have the challenge of how you deal with it.

There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to train and compete. You almost feel that all the stamina and speed is slipping away.

Of course this is not always the case, as Nick Matthew winning a gold medal five to six weeks after his knee operation is testament to. His Commonwealth Games singles final with James Willstrop was of an astonishingly high quality considering the injuries that both players had been forced to deal with in the run-up to the Glasgow Games.

cassieboFrom my own experience with injuries (right), after two back operations, the rehabilitation work and listening to your physio is the key. The body has incredible recovery powers and the rehab work helps that recovery process along.

Some of the rehab work to be honest can be pretty boring but it has to be done and you know it is helping you get back on that court.

It can definitely be tempting to rush the process of trying to get back but that is when you have to have faith in your physio as they really do know best!

Coming back from my two back operations I totally trusted my physios, Phil and Pauline Newton, who were the England Squash physios at the time, and I did everything I was told to do.

I believe without their guidance and support I would never have got back to playing let alone competing at the top level.

In recent weeks some of the game’s top players have been affected by injuries, including Ramy Ashour (hamstring), Joelle King (Achilles) and James Willstrop (hip ).

It can be a tough time but squash players are a pretty tough lot and I wish them and anyone else on the tour who is injured all the best in their recovery. Hopefully we will see them all back on court very soon.


Pictures from the Squash Mad archive 

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