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Coach Houser:

We just found out the results of the MRI on my daughter's knee and there is nothing torn. So, the therapist said he is planning on getting "a little more aggressive" with the therapy. In the mean time, he doesn't want my daughter doing anything athletic for the next 3 weeks. I'm having trouble with that part, and I going to allow her to keep on playing volleyball unless it's too painful. What are your thoughts? Am I being a bad mom? Am I just too competitive?


OK, you're the mom. You have the power to decide if she shuts the knee down for 2 weeks or 2 months. That's OK with me. But, you want her to play. That's OK with me too. She wants to play. So you make the decision that you think is best for her and then go for it!


If I felt like you do, I'd tell the PT the following:



     a) "What if she continues to play. Will she create an injury? If so, what type?"
     b) "If she will not injure herself by playing, then she & I have decided that she will continue to play. What can you do for us to help her play her best?"
     c) "How can we limit her pain & discomfort? Can we get some anti-inflamatories?"
     d) "OK, so there's no knee damage. Then what exactly is causing all this pain?"

That's the route I'd go if I were you. No, you don't want to create any permanent injury. But you also don't want to shut her down.


Then I'd tell her coach what the PT said. Then her coach will probably give her a lot of rest in matches that aren't competitive, and will be careful with her during certain drills. If the coach knows the truth, then she can coach her team better! So please tell the coach what's going on! The coach can save your daughter for the matches that will be 25-23, and not use her as much when the score becomes 15-3.



Next, I do encourage you to severely cut back her other away-from-the-team conditionings and trainings. No, she will not attend basketball open gyms. Why? Well, the PT wants her to shut down for a while, and the PT probably has a reason for it! So, I wouldn't do anything to further aggravate the knee. Wait until it calms down before adding any more stress to it.



I can tell your struggling with this. You have to make a decision that you are personally satisfied with. I have worked with parents who have shut down their children because of a broken finger. And I've worked with several parents whose daughter had a broken finger and they looked at the girl and said, "You need/want to play? Then play." Everyone is different. Every child's competitive nature is different. As a competitive person, I think it's awesome that your daughter wants to continue. I also commend you for allowing your daughter to play; as long as continuing doesn't result in some permanent injury.



Again, I really encourage you to tell your daughter's coach, and maybe even share with her what I said above. Being the top setter on the team, they may not need her so much vs. some JV teams, but may need her critically vs. others. She needs to be saved for the "needy" matches. If I were her coach, I'd want to know what was going on. I can't coach my team to the best of my ability of kids are hiding injuries.



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