While not an official part of the dress code, boots, slings, and casts are worn regularly in the middle school. According to a recent survey of seventh and eighth grade students, over 85 percent have been injured while playing a sport. About 43 percent of those students have only been hurt once, but 23 percent have been hurt more than five times while playing sports.
Anyone who has been injured while playing a sport can agree with the fact that it is extremely frustrating and disappointing. All athletes can do is wait to recover and be able to join their teammates again.
Kathleen H., an eighth grader, gets hurt quite often because she plays so many sports. “I guess the worst time I got injured was when I hurt my ankle. It was during this year’s soccer tryouts,” she said.
A day later, she went to the doctor’s office and they told her she would have to wear a boot and sit out of soccer for two weeks. Kathleen says this was a major setback because she missed so much time with her teammates.
She said, “It was really hard not being able to play in games or practice because sometimes I felt isolated. But my teammates always tried to include me despite my injury.”
Having to sit out of a sport for two weeks is already extremely frustrating, but some injuries require an even longer recovery time. Around 30 percent of seventh and eighth grade students have had to sit out for a month or longer after their injuries.
Quinn S., a seventh grader, had a joint disorder called Osteochondritis. To treat Osteochondritis, most teenagers go to therapy for around three months, and they also limit physical activity. Some teens with severe symptoms are less fortunate and require surgery.
She said, “My Osteochondritis caused pain because my cartilage wasn’t growing correctly with the bone in my knee. I had a procedure where they put stem cells in to stimulate growth. I was out for seven months so I could fully recover.”
The seventh months she had to sit out were difficult because just like Kathleen, she felt isolated from her teammates and friends. “It was very hard not being able to play because I was so used to being active all the time. All my friends were super nice to me though, and I got to watch a lot of Netflix,” she said.
Mason S., an eighth grade boy, was injured playing football. “I was kicking a field goal and something just happened to my back. I went to the trainers and they told me I was out for the rest of the season.”
Although Mason wasn’t allowed to play, he still went to games and contributed to the football team by handing out water bottles and being a ball boy. Injured athletes can still contribute to the team by helping out where they can.
Although injuries are unfortunate and challenging, with encouraging friends, determination, and ample rest, people can overcome them.