Playing Through the Pain


What every high school student athlete wants, chases, and may be pushing themselves too far for.

In a recent poll, 25 out of 30 student athletes said they played or continued to play a sport even if they felt like they were injured.

That leads to the question, is the pressure of high school varsity sports to much that it is putting some students in jeopardy of serious injury?

But how far is too far? According to trainer Gisonno, she treats all injuries big or small, and she said, “Without a doubt come to me with any injuries, from a little cut to the most severe, I strongly encourage all athletes to come to me.”

What stops most athletes from going to the trainer is the thought of being sidelined and not being able to play. Trainer Gisonno commented on that, “I can help treat an injury so it doesn’t get worse or I can keep you on the field managing an injury or off the field for the shortest amount of time. The longer you wait with a nagging injury the longer you can be sidelined.”

Even with the encouragement of getting help from a trainer for managing injuries, many athletes still continue to play even if they are hurt. A sophomore anonymous source who has been dealing with a hip injury has yet to go to the trainer. She said, “It feels like it pops out when I run and is a shooting pain in my right leg whenever I kick the ball. I feel like the pain slows me down.”

An injury that you feel like affects your playing should definitely been seen by the trainer, but the same source said, “I don’t want to sit out my first season on varsity…; I don’t want to let my team down.”

Playing with an injury that is affecting your playing, is hardly letting your team down, but sometimes that push to keep playing comes from another motivation, “I feel like if I’m injured I will lose my starting spot, I don’t want to be replaced by a JV player.”

Another athlete, a junior anonymous source, confessed to playing with a strenuous injury and did not go to the trainer. “I think I had a pulled quad, but I didn’t go to the trainer because I didn’t want to be a wuss.”

She said, “I don’t feel like there is a lot of peer pressure to play with an injury, but I if I’m on a varsity team and I worked hard for a spot so I wouldn’t want to give it up.”

“There is a difference between being injured and hurt,” A junior anonymous source also commented.

Senior, Laura Greene, is another one of the many athletes who have played with an injury. During her freshman year, Greene had a bulging disk in her back yet continued to play, “I didn’t want to give up my first season of high school soccer,” she said.

Due to her playing with an injury that probably should have sidelined Greene for a while, she had a serious consequence; “It started in soccer season and since I continued to play I was only able to do two weeks of indoor track before I had to sit out the rest of the season.”

“Playing time doesn’t come easy on the varsity level,” she said. It’s that statement right there that can sum up why any other athlete continues to play even if they are injured.

Especially at the varsity level, the stakes are raised just that much higher. Greene added the comment, “The expectations for performance are much higher regardless of an injury.”

All ages experience the pressures of sports and dealing with injuries, but freshman in particular are newly exposed to the idea of high school sports and the everyday of the week practice schedules.

A freshman anonymous source is already dealing with an injury in her first high school season.

“I have a pulled hamstring I think, but it’s just a minor injury,” she said, “It doesn’t hurt bad enough to not play.”

Freshmen are new to pressures of high school sports and the difficult practice and game schedules the players endure throughout the season.

“The change is very different, I’m getting used to playing everyday as opposed to practices twice and week and one game on the weekends. I feel a lot more sore and tired all the time now,” the freshman anonymous source said.

Most of the many athletes at Pentucket High School all face their own physical injuries, yet continue to play despite the risk they are putting their bodies at. From seniors to freshmen, everyone usually experiences some injury while playing sports at the varsity level and for the good of the team continue to play and push themselves to persevere.

Any injury at all should be treated by the trainer, or at least notify the trainer if you’re hurting because putting your body at risk of long term injury is not worth the risk of playing in a game.