Every athlete experiences a setback during his or her career. That’s just part of sports. But with every setback, there’s also a chance to come back.
Liberty Mutual Insurance sat down with US Youth Soccer’s Coaching Director Sam Snow to get his thoughts on making a strong comeback from a setback.
In our exclusive Take 5 interview, Sam shared his extensive experience and knowledge in helping young athletes bounce back from injuries. He shared the story of a 17-year-old male soccer player who suffered a femur contusion that was first thought to be a fractured femur.
Sam recalls that the injury happened early in the athlete’s season, and the goal soon became to “get him back on the field before the season ended, if at all possible.” Sam told us he worked with the injured player both in the training room and on the field, offering assistance in training sessions when he wasn’t in rehab. The player continued to attend all team meetings and sat with his team on the bench for all home matches.
Sam remembers that much of the work with this injured athlete was mental, as he had to rebuild the player’s confidence and convince him to stay patient and focus on the long-term comeback plan. Since soccer involves so much touch, timing and ball skills, Sam also had to work with the player in one-on-one training sessions when he was ready to physically do so.
Sam advises young athletes who are facing injuries or other setbacks to never rush their comebacks. He cautions that players who rush or force things often “re-injure themselves, because they were not fully rehabilitated.” And he reminds young athletes and their parents that patience is “of vital importance.”
Sam also shared a story about working with a talented, but raw, goalkeeper to hone the finer points of his game and convince him of the value of mental discipline at this demanding position. With Sam’s guidance and a lot of hard work, the player went from nearly quitting the sport to earning college soccer honors and going on to serve as a successful college soccer head coach.
To read the full Take 5 interview with Sam, visit ResponsibleSports.com. Come back next month for another exclusive Take 5 interview!
At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of responsibility shown by people every day. We created Responsible Sports as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display responsibility. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the field.
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