Playing sports is something that many people get to do in their lives. The competitiveness, the drive, the struggle, the feeling of victory are all things that make it worthwhile playing a sport. But the one thing that seems to fall by the wayside quiet often, is the sacrifice and the pain the athletes go through from playing a sport.
While many injuries come and go, there are a lot of different injuries that don’t go away. Lifelong ailments and pain have become a norm for some athletes. According to atyourownrisk.org, 90 percent of student-athletes have reported some type of injury as a result from playing sports.
Montclair State student and former soccer player, Brynn McDonald, suffered career threatening injuries during her playing career. Through the years, injuries had piled up one after another.
A torn ACL, a slipped disk in her back, and a stress fracture in her femur all contributed to her career in soccer ending. “It was devastating, because every year I worked so hard to come back and to come back strong and healthy”, said McDonald.
As much as she wanted to continue to play, her doctors had advised her not too, “The doctors told me that, probably not playing another year of college soccer was what would be in the best interest for me if I wanted to continue to be active as I got older”.
The graphic below details the amount of injuries in the five major US sports, football, basketball, baseball, soccer, and ice hockey by age groups in 2015. As you can see, basketball and football appear to have the most reported injuries.
Basketball hits its peak at the age group of 15-24 range, while football hits its peak within the age group of the 5-14 range. What is really surprising is the the low amount of injuries reported for ice hockey.
This is likely attributed to the lower amount of athletes playing ice hockey compared to the other sports. Although, according to Insurance Information Institute, ice hockey has the highest percent rate of concussion related injuries, at 12 percent.
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, 8.6 million sports related injuries are reported annually. That is 34.1 out of every 1,000 people.
While playing a sport can be very harmful to the body in the present and the future, it will not stop some from continuing to play.
Marc-Jensen Lida, a resident of Andover, New Jersey, says he continues to do all the athletic activities he has always done despite his injuries. “I like to play basketball and be active. I try and run or bike on an active basis”, said Jensen-Lida. While he likes to be active still, he does say that it is hard to convince his body sometimes.
“Sometimes when I wake up in the morning, its hard to get up out of bed sometimes. Some days are good and some are bad”, he said.
The Andover resident suffered a torn ACL in both of his knees back in high school. the first one was a result of playing football, the other came while playing basketball with his friends.
Not only can it be challenging for an athlete to overcome the physical pain from an injury, but it is as equally challenging to overcome the emotional and psychological impact from an injury. According to NCAA.org, some mental effects for athletes suffering from injury include:
-lack of motivation
-lack of appetite
Below is a photo gallery, featured around three specific individuals. All three subjects are in different stages in their lives, yet all have one thing in common, they live with the effects of their injuries every day. First is Marc Jensen-Lida of Andover, NJ. He tore both of his ACLs while playing two different sports, basketball and football. Next is Bill Bailey of Newton, NJ. Bailey injured shattered his elbow way back when he was 12 years old in his driveway playing basketball. Last is Joe Trapasso of Jefferson, NJ, who tore many ligaments and had several dislocations to his knee.
I am a Television and Digital Media major, with a concentration in Sports Media and Journalism, currently studying at Montclair State University. I am very passionate about all sports and strive to be involved in the sports industry in some capacity. Currently serving as a social media intern for the Montclair State Women’s basketball team since September 2018. Have experience shooting and editing both video and photos.