Basketball Injury – Playing Hurt

  Is there a difference with being Hurt vs. a Basketball Injury?

Playing Hurt vs Playing Injured in Youth Basketball. It’s very important for athletes to learn the difference between being hurt and having a basketball injury (being injured). Athletes must recognize just how much pain their bodies can take. Is the pain caused from just a muscle ache or a muscle tear? I’ve seen players use minor injuries as an excuse to get out of running. And also seen many players play through the pain. It’s hard for athletes to just sit on the sidelines and watch the game. But taking a chance with making a basketball injury worse by trying to play is just plain reckless. They could make the basketball injury worse, and be out for a longer period of time. Playing Hurt vs Playing Injured in Youth Basketball is something that should be thoroughly understand by all involved.

I’ve coached players that have played through being hurt. And some that didn’t play because they broke a fingernail (sometimes it felt like that was the case). It really just depends on the player and how dedicated they are to the team. I’ve coached players where basketball was not their main sport. So if they got hurt (even just a little), they refused to play. Why? Because they were afraid they wouldn’t be able to play their main sport at full capacity. Some would sit for the rest of the season or until they felt they were at 100%. These days all High Schools will have athletic trainer on staff to handle any basketball injury. Athletic trainers usually have the power to allow players to play or not play. This is true even if there is a doctor’s note clearing the player. I’ve witnessed an athletic trainer claim that a player wasn’t really injured or hurt (felt the player was faking it). The players sure acted like they were in a lot of pain though. In any case like this you should always side with the player. 


My Experience with this subject

My daughter had a bone chip in her hand that hurt really bad. One doctor said that they could remove the bone chip, but she would be out for a while, while a different doctor said that removing the bone chip would not make a difference one way or the other. Since the doctors appeared to be slightly confusing with their answers – she immediately said “No way, I’ll take my chances with the pain.” She did this mostly because she didn’t want to let her team down, and being hurt wasn’t going to keep her from helping the team succeed. The outcome was that her team went to the State Tournament for the first time ever in school history. Do you remember the game that Michael Jordan played with a bad case of the flu.  He fought through it, scored 45 points, the Bulls won the game. At the end of the game Jordan almost passed out, and had to be carried off the court by teammates. He gained the respect of a lot of people that night. Jordan knew that his teammates and fans were counting on him. 


When Parents get Involved

Playing Hurt vs Playing Injured in Youth Basketball are two different things, but the bottom line is that an athlete must understand the differences. Can you play while being hurt and not make it worse? Should you sit out and wait until you are completely healed? In this day and age, with all the lawsuits and legal issues – many doctors will take the “safe” route and keep a player out for longer than is needed. We had a player with an ankle injury where the parent took them to the emergency room, then to their regular doctor. The doctor had the player out for three weeks, but after one week the player was running and jumping around during practices. The player could not play until the doctor cleared them. The player eventually went back and got cleared a week early, but you get the point. That is why it’s always best to let your athletic trainer evaluate you, and let them decide if further evaluation is needed. 


Does your coach have experience with injuries?

Coaches are required to have the  necessary experience to deal with a basketball injury. As a parent you should feel safe that your child will be taken care of if an injury occurs. There is always an exception, and you really don’t want it to be your child. One of my daughters played in her first high school game and sprained her ankle. It was very obvious that she was in pain. The coach took her out but no one really attended to her, she just sat there in pain. My wife had to take her some ice because not one of the three coaches sitting there bothered to do this. We walked over at half time and told the coach that we are taking her to get this checked. All we got was a weird “look” from the coach, but we took her anyway. It turned out to be a bad sprain; she was out for 2-3 weeks. I was pretty disgusted with the lack of concern shown by the coaches. It is the responsibility of any coach to understand how to handle player injuries. At the very least have someone on their staff that knows how to deal with injuries. It is very likely that there are more coaches that understand injuries than there are that don’t understand them. These days it is becoming a requirement at the middle school and high school level to be first aid certified. 

When it comes to Playing Hurt vs Playing Injured in Youth Basketball, no matter what the situation is, a parent should do whatever they feel is best for their child (you already know this). Whether you allow the athletic trainer to evaluate, or rush your child to the emergency room – that is your right. I have rushed my children to the emergency room many times if I felt that it was appropriate to do so.

Here is an interesting article that I found regarding basketball injury on the Internet…

Playing Hurt vs. Playing Injured – CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE!


In Conclusion

Playing Hurt vs Playing Injured in Youth Basketball. The older an athlete gets the more experience they are with knowing if they are hurt or if they are injured. Younger players sometimes cry every time they get hurt – so you should use caution when it comes to the younger players (they really could be hurt? or they are crying because they are just embarrassed – you never know?). It’s ok to play hurt if there is no possibility of making things worse, and it’s also ok to sit out games if you are really injured and need time to heal. That’s just the way it is when you play sports, and injuries are something that every athlete will have to eventually deal with…

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One Response to Basketball Injury – Playing Hurt

  1. dom clancy says:

    Good article but sort of excessive in length. After the bit about the daughter/flu game I understood the point.

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