Why England's George Kruis was 'devastated' by injuries.

Wouldn’t it be great if we fully understood the impact on our mental health from the Coronavirus lockdown?

Being unable to see family and friends, only connecting through technology, has been tough.

For those involved in team sports, such as rugby, motivating yourself to stay active has also been difficult.  Being in a team pushes you to work harder and makes you feel good. 

When contact sports return - especially for children - it will be a great feeling to be with your team again.

There’s one thing that may not be on everyone’s mind when we go back. The (often preventable) dreaded injury!

George Kruis (center) with the Triple Crown trophy during the Six Nations 2020.

This week, on the Lions Den Podcast, I was lucky to speak to both Amy Wilson Hardy (England Sevens) and Geroge Kruis (Saracens and England Rugby) about lots of topics including mental wellbeing. 

Both shared similar stories of the mental strain and toll of getting injured following - what they thought would be - their return to the game. 

For Amy, it was back to back ankle injuries, which resulted in her missing the World Cup. For George, it was an original ankle injury and two days before the 6 Nations “blowing my knee out”. 

They both described how suffering another setback, just as they were contending for a starting place again, as devastating.

Amy Wilson Hardy (R) with Team GB at the 2018 Rio Olympics

Although, of course, many people won’t be injured, let’s treat the lockdown period as if we are returning from an injury….

There are plenty of parallels we can draw.

Some people will be working hard and setting goals, aiming to get back to full match-fitness for the season. 

Others will be playing computer games or watching TV, not looking after their bodies, expecting to just go back to playing again.

Easy to guess who’ll have the advantage there…..

Then, in your first game back, you may get injured. More likely if you’ve just been sitting around playing computer games or watching TV. You miss even more time. Everyone else is playing again and they’re getting fitter. You risk losing your place in the team. 

This could have implications on your mental health too. Retrospectively you may find yourself thinking, “what could I have done to prevent this from happening?...”

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