Athletic injuries can impact mindset, faith

Henderson.jpg

 Courtesy photo / The Bison 

Bison football wide receiver and senior sports management major Jacques Henderson recover from a sports injury.

Trajan Lands 

Contributing Writer

‘I felt God wasn’t finished with my story’

Even though OBU Bison football wide receiver and senior sports management major Jacques Henderson experienced injuries, trials and tribulations during the last year, he made the decision to come back to play his final season with the Bison.

Henderson said he suffered an injury toward the end of the season last year and was unable to participate in the last game against Southern Nazarene.

“Last season I had torn my meniscus and had to get microscopic surgery,” he said.

“That injury definitely defeated me mentally. I had just had come back from tearing my ACL the season before so to have back-to- back years ending in an injury was tough mentally.”

Henderson is not alone; most athletes do experience noted anxiety or depression during injury recovery.

In a recent issue of the “Journal of Sports Medicine,” authors Johnston and Carroll discussed their research into athletic injuries.

According to the article, “it is estimated that 29.7 million sports injuries occur annually in England and Wales alone at a total cost in terms of treatment and lost working day of £991 million. 

Injury to those involved in sport and exercise has also been reported to have a substantial psychological impact. Quantitative studies examining differences between injured and uninjured athletes have disclosed greater negative affect, lower self-esteem and higher levels of depression and anxiety among the injured athletes.

The authors concluded “comparisons of athletes before and after injury have indicated greater mood disturbance, lowered self-esteem, and increased depression after injury.”

Many studies have researched the emotional impact of injuries, but fewer explore the spiritual.

Henderson said his multiple injuries impacted the way he viewed the game and his faith, ultimately.

“I felt God wasn’t finished with my story,” Henderson said about that last season.

“Through all my injuries I’ve struggled to find that peace and joy that football has brought me in the past and growing up. I didn’t want to end my playing days on a season-ending knee injury.”

Henderson had played nine games and racked up 28 receptions and 230 yards, as well as five touchdowns that helped the Bison go 5-6 last football season. He said he wanted to continue contributing to the team.

“Having the opportunity to come back and play was something I decided to do for my personal story and to use my talents to glorify God compared to using them for selfish ambition or other ways that I did it the past,” he said.

He said God gave him the talent to play football, but He also gave him the ability to play another sport for Bison Hill.

Henderson also ran track which helped him coming back from his injury.

“It felt good to run track this spring,” he said. “We were able to win the conference meet, and to be able to contribute was a blessing. It was good to come back and help after recovering from my knee injury.”

After Henderson contributed to the Bison track team, it is now time to come back to the football field.

“My goal for this upcoming season is to help this team make a postseason birth and win the GAC conference,” he said.

“I signed here out of high school with the intentions to help this program grow into a powerhouse D2 program, being able to make a postseason birth would be the best way to go out as a senior,” Henderson said.

 

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