At only 24 years old, Derrick Rose has already been named an all star, MVP, super star, and has his own shoe line with Adidas. But with glory comes pain, in Derrick’s case physical and mental pain from a devastating knee injury. The result was a torn ACL in last year’s first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers.
After almost a year of rehab and training, he has been officially cleared to play by doctors just a few days ago. However, he says he is not yet ready to take the everyday beat down of an NBA game. More specifically, he said that he will not play until he can confidently dunk off of the leg he previously injured.
With analysts and others questioning why he won’t play after being cleared by doctors, there is only one thing holding him back from playing. That one thing is not physical; it is his mental state, it is his own mind. When an athlete endures a devastating injury such as Rose did, you are not only hurt physically but mentally as well. The only thing in the back of his mind is probably “I don’t want to hurt my knee if I try to do an explosive move or go up for a dunk.” Just as it took time, almost a year, to recover physically from the torn ACL it also takes time to recover mentally from an injury.
Until in his mind he feels that he is ready to play and can visualize doing everything he was able to do before the injury, no one should even consider questioning the all-star. Otherwise, if he rushes back too soon Rose will not play like the MVP everyone knows him to be and may do more harm than good for him and the Chicago Bulls’ playoff run.
Sports Psychology/Mental Training from Mental Apex