Deciding to play with a hurt shoulder – Sam Thaiday

Sam Thaiday is a professional rugby player who is known for his protection and scrapiness when on the field. His career has featured great high points including being named an Indigenous All Star of the century.

When I look for articles to talk about I try to balance the boring stuff with things that get my attention. It was with this in mind I found the article on Sam. Specifically, the article was basically letting Sam decide the state of his shoulder injury and whether he could play or not.

This is what got my interest … a quote by Darren Lockyer:

The only way to confirm that is to play a game of footy, not a fitness test at training for 10 minutes. While Sam wants to play for the Broncos, a lot of his reason for playing would be to prove to himself he can get through 80 minutes with his shoulder, the way it is.

You will get found out in Origin if you can’t step out there with confidence in how you are going.

Deciding to play with a hurt shoulder - Sam Thaiday PhotoDarren is a former player and now TV commentator. Yep, he is basically calling Sam out. Awesome.

How do you decide to play with a hurt shoulder?

  1. Test it out – Run through a range of motion and strength exercises to ensure you have proper function.
  2. Be honest about pain – Don’t try to “man up” and hide the pain. Be frank with yourself.
  3. Decide what is at stake – Are you playing for money? A championship? Bragging rights? You have to take that into account when you make your decision.
  4. Talk to your doctor – For the love of all that is great and good talk to your doctor or medical staff. Regardless of their opinion, they do have an interest in ensuring your health.

Playing with any injury is a choose every athlete has to make. There are always circumstances that you cannot control, but in most cases the decision is yours to make when the time comes. The medical staff can advise you, but in most cases you have to make the decision.

Don’t base that decision on someone questioning your toughness or ability, especially if this isn’t your livelihood. Live to play another day and ensure your injury is healed before you move on.



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