OCSC Player Alex De John: How to Recover So You Can Stay In the Game
Whether you’re a professional soccer player or a neighborhood kickball enthusiast, injuries are inevitable. Athletes of all kinds can feel defeated. As Orlando City Soccer Club defender Alex De John notes, there are reasons to stay positive about recovery. After seven years as a pro soccer player, he suffered his first injury this season. Here is his advice for getting back in the game.
What has been the most challenging part of your career so far?
I played professionally for seven years before ever getting injured. I was out for eight weeks with a hamstring injury this year. For context, that’s about a quarter of the season. That was hard, but recovery is vital. You have to heal completely if you’re ever going to get back on the field.
How do you protect yourself from getting hurt?
Prehab is important. We don’t start out cold and jump right into running — we go to the gym and do a lot of mobility training to keep our bodies fresh and loose.
Diet and rest are vital as well. Eating right helps the body, but sleep is your most important recovery step. It helps keep both body and mind fresh. Physical training is integral. A soccer season is 34 games long. Your body can get pretty beat up, so keeping your conditioning high is absolutely key to protecting yourself.
Any tips for those currently suffering from a sports injury?
Remain positive. It's easy to get down and mentally check out. Positivity aids the recovery process; you recover faster. Focus on your rehab and what's most important for you to get back in the game. When others tell you what to do, their goal is the same as yours: They’re trying to help you get back on the pitch.
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