How do you talk to an injured athlete? The answer is counter-intuitive
I encouraged her to speak without preventing the flow she had begun. I simply tried to understand what it felt like for her right here, right now. I don’t think I even asked her one question in the 30 minutes we spoke on the phone. Toward the end of the conversation, she startled me when she said: “When I think back about what I’ve just been talking about I can see how sensible your advice is about coping with my injury. I know I have the skills to cope and I look forward to the challenge of recovering one day at a time”. Why was I startled? Simply because I hadn’t said anything; I certainly had not given her any advice. But I guess what she said sounded like it should have come from me rather than her. She had internalized how to be a good coach to herself. She had learned to help herself in a kind and supportive manner. We arranged to meet again after she had seen her podiatrist and physiotherapist to establish her recovery plans.