How To Keep Injured Players Involved
Getting hurt and having to sit out from ultimate sucks. Nonetheless, it happens all the time, and as captain, it's important for you to think about how that injury is going to effect your team.
To recap, Mario's bullet points are:
- Check in with injured players and talk to them about a plan for how they can contribute to the team.
- Give them tasks to do. If they have a job to do, they'll be more invested, and it'll add serious sideline value to your team. Consider putting them in charge of sideline talk, bringing water on TO's, or keeping team stats.
- Keep them engaged and positive. Give public shout-outs to your injured person and thank them for their contributions.
- Make sure they're not bringing negativity or distractions to other players.
We've got a few more items to add to help your team to deal with injuries:
- Support your injured player to heal and get back on the field. Encourage your injured players to do their PT regularly and not push themselves too soon so you'll get them back on the field in good shape to help the team!
- Keep in mind that all injuries and players are different. A lot of what you decide to do with injured players will have to be a case-by-case basis, depending on what's wrong with them and how long it'll take to heal. The point is though, you should talk about it and not let it go unaddressed.
- Discuss a team policy about injured players attending tournaments. It can be a hard ask to get a freshman to hang out on the sidelines all weekend during a rainy cold weekend. On the other hand, if a player doesn't show to any tournaments and expects to play in Regionals when she's healed, that's probably not too good for your team dynamics either. We recommend that the leadership decides and communicates what the policy is for this kind of situation before it happens.