A: One of the toughest adversities all athletes face are injuries, particularly season-ending or career-ending injuries. From my experiences, they are much tougher mentally on most players than physically and a setback you can likely overcome.
From a recruiting standpoint, not all season-ending injuries will effect your potential to earn a scholarship. From my experiences, college coaches will often stick by injured players and continue to recruit and evaluate them, possibly even offer them. If you already have scholarship offers, an injury doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be pulled.
Some players may repeatedly face the same injuries – ACL tears, meniscus tears, chronic back or neck pain. Not only is it frustrating to face one ACL tear, but I’ve worked with players who have faced two or even three knee surgeries. Yes, the road is tougher but not completely impossible. If it’s the same chronic issues… are there different treatments that can be tried? Are you allowing yourself time to completely heal? Can weightroom work help strengthen that region to help cut down on injuries?
Yes, injuries have ended the careers of a handful of players I’ve worked with. And yes, at the high school level the road may be much tougher to get noticed, recruited and offered. You may have to start out at the Junior College level, as a walk-on or even as a regular student who tries to walk-on as s sophomore or junior after some time to heal, as long as you are able to stay working out and working on skill drills. It’s a longshot, but I’ve seen it happen.
The toughest situation is for those players who are seniors and still working towards getting offers, if you find yourself in this situation you will just need to get more creative and more aggressive. The key to success in this situation is to remain mentally tough. You must keep your confidence, develop other aspects of your game, become a master of the playbook.
If you are an unsigned senior, you must continue to pound the pavement, work the phones, send your highlights and follow-up. You may have to go to prep school, Junior College or a much less competitive program—but it’s a starting point that can eventually lead you to a successful collegiate career and an education.
You must find a way to OVERCOME. You must work towards this every day. You must stay positive! You may not start your college career where you dream of, you may not have several options to choose from but at the end of the day it’s about finding that one or few coaching staffs who believe in you and finding the best situation for you.