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Oct 2021

State of mind determines state

Liu Shaoyu 游泳athletes

Lau Shiu-yue


If life is bound to encounter unpleasant things, then large and small injuries are the inevitable stage in my athletic career。

My first injury in my life happened in junior high school. I had to lie on the operating table for the first time because of a broken wrist, and almost missed the most anticipated academic swimming finals. Fortunately, I recovered from the injury two weeks later and finished the competition with sportsmanship and ranked eighth。Although he failed to win the MEDALS he had expected, he experienced a full recovery from injury。

Injuries are not the end of the world。Complete recovery is definitely possible as long as you maintain a positive belief, follow the advice of your doctor and physical therapist, and gradually implement a rehabilitation program。If you only complain, even a minor injury is enough to have a negative impact on your future sports career。

In 2015, just as I was entering university, I suffered two pasterns on my left shoulder in three months。These two pasterns were low tides that I have been unable to overcome and affected my training and performance。Since then MY state has been up and down, unable to find the breakthrough pass, there is invisible pressure in my heart, all the time I am afraid that the situation will be broken again。

Of course, a positive attitude and strong faith won't help you if you don't solve your problems well。The more you run away from a problem, the more it sticks around you。After graduating from college in 2019, I tried to shake off the injury haze and take a chance on becoming a full-time athlete。

In an ordinary morning drill, I experienced the pasterns again。Compared to the first two pasterns, I was calmer this time。Perhaps because of my previous experience, I was mentally prepared to be "expected" if it happened again。On the way to the hospital, all I could think about was getting up the courage to have surgery and putting an end to the problem that had been affecting my performance。From the positive point of view, this time off pasterns let me no longer look at the problem with a fluke mentality, but from the root, the left shoulder consolidation, then can be no worries into training, looking for breakthrough。

Of course, such an important decision is not only my own decision. I would like to thank the Sea And Sky Swimming Club, the Hong Kong Sports Institute and many coaches who helped me to make breakthroughs。They discussed and analyzed with me, supported me to have the surgery, and gave me a different experience as an athlete。

Recovery from surgery was not easy. It was longer and harder than I had expected. The first day required complete shoulder immobilization, continuous ice for several days, and painkillers in the morning and in the evening。Even if the physical therapy movements are small at first, these small movements need patience and persistence over and over again。I still remember waiting days and days before I could gently raise my hand to my shoulder two weeks later。When you are afraid of the night, only courage will see you through to the morning。It was definitely a horrible experience, but what was even scarier was that it made me feel like nothing, so I'm thankful that I learned from the most painful days to persevere and do the right thing。


Liu Shaoyu timed his swim at the 64th Sports Festival Hong Kong Long Pool
Men's 200m backstroke record broken for 20 years in race II。
(Photo by Hong Kong Swimming Association, China)

I firmly believe that "the state of mind determines the realm" this sentence, would rather strive to try, even if sometimes fail, rather than not to try to accept the fate of failure。After continuous efforts and attempts, I am happy to finally achieve one of my goals in swimming this year - to break the Hong Kong men's 200m backstroke record that has been held for 20 years。This is just a milestone in my swimming career and I will not be complacent. I will continue to work hard and seek breakthroughs and improvements in the future。

What would I have done if I hadn't been injured?What I can achieve and when?I don't have the answers. I choose not to focus on the past, but to focus on today and make the future my own。On the positive side, I have learned a lot from my injury, including learning more about myself, learning about injuries, learning how to cope with the bad times and difficulties in my career as an athlete, getting support and companionship from people around me, and building a stronger desire for progress。

In fact, injury is the most important lesson to learn in an athlete's career. Don't be afraid of it, don't run away from it, you must learn to face it, and more importantly, keep faith。If I can take this opportunity to understand my physical and mental changes, and strengthen the knowledge of injury prevention, it is an opportunity to look at the career of an athlete and try my best to be the best I can be。

I hope that like me, you should be brave enough to face and overcome the difficulties, and use a positive attitude to find what you can get, so that you can surpass yourself and even encourage others around you。