Canadian Squash Player Samantha Cornett has spent this year recovering and re-habbing not one but two injuries although she made the most of it and spent the time setting new goals and fulfilling new roles she didn’t have time for on the playing circuit.
I have never seen the importance of goals so clearly as I have this past year. I know I am lucky in that I had an overall goal throughout the year as I ‘re-habbed’ my injury (sore foot, sore knees), which was to play again; ideally pain free. However, all this year I went through a roller coaster of believing it, and in those periods when I didn’t believe that I could play again, my goal seemed out of reach and I felt I had nothing to work for.
I can see now how injured athletes, or athletes who retire, can reach some dark places.
I made myself goals throughout the year, such as learning Spanish, getting another level of coaching certification, learning new shots, and then some. This was a good idea, but it was important for me to learn that these were small goals that I hadn’t created an actual application for. For example, I should want and need to learn Spanish in order to be a volunteer at a Spanish-speaking event, or I should get my coaching level in order to prepare myself for a big camp. However, both of those more encompassing goals weren’t on my radar, therefore I didn’t throw myself into the mini goals as I throw myself into my squash goals where I have a dream of being in the top 10 and eventually number 1.
These goals that are objective and realistic and that excite me.
I can see now how injured athletes, or athletes who retire, can reach some dark places. Of course athletes aren’t alone in this. When you take away a goal you are throwing everything at, things look bleak. Or maybe you never had that goal in the first place. I imagine that’s probably a whole other monster.
I realize goals aren’t the answer to everything; sometimes you have to be okay with just being. But they definitely give me something to wake up for every day, and they stop me from overthinking things that don’t matter, because I’m focused on what’s important each moment.
So now I know from experience that I need these measurable goals people always speak of. These goals that are objective and realistic and that excite me. I have booked my next level coaching evaluation, I’ve signed up for a tournament and I’m feeling great. If injury strikes again, I need to put myself out there for something challenging yet attainable, and work towards being prepared for it. It’s easy to say in hindsight, but now that it’s written down here, I’ll remember. Maybe there are folks out there who can relate and have more advice for us athletes because we’re all human!
I’m happy and fortunate to be healthy and I am so looking forward to the season starting for me with my first tournament beginning September 20th. Bring on the next goal.