As athletic trainers I feel like we’ve heard every story in the book when it comes to injuries that supposedly happened “at practice” or “during the game” but just so happened to not be reported until the following day. Coincidentally enough, these mysterious injuries usually surface on Monday mornings or after an extended break.
Typically, when the athlete describes how the injury occurs, the explanation sounds a little fishy and the more you probe for details, the more the story keeps changing. At this point in the conversation you’ve probably concluded the athlete is suffering from what we call a “non-athletic” athlete injury. Recently I was reminded of some of these stories and wanted to share three of my favorites I’ve heard over the years.
Concussion via Coffee Table
While a soccer player was sleeping his roommates decided to play a prank on him and place a coffee table over his head. They decided to wake him up by sounding an air horn, which resulted in him quickly sitting up and slamming his head against the heavy coffee table. The next morning, he came in the athletic training room complaining of headache and nausea. A concussion protocol ensured.
Stage Diving Ankle Sprain
A basketball player came into the athletic training room one Friday morning with a fresh ankle sprain. He said he injured his ankle in the previous practice, but I couldn’t recall any injury situations during practice. Later that day I happened to overhear some of his teammates laughing and reminiscing about his karaoke performance the previous night in which he fell off the stage and hurt his ankle. He missed a week of activity and was in an ankle brace for couple weeks, but I hear his song choice was a hit among the crowd.
(Arm) Wrestling Injuries
And then there was the wrist injury to the starting quarterback. Once again, he comes in the athletic training room in the morning complaining he hurt his wrist during the previous practice. Come to find out our starting QB entered an arm wrestling contest at a local watering hole. Not only did he lose the contest, but he also lost his starting position.
Do any of these “non-athletic” athlete injuries sound familiar to you? I’m sure if you’ve been working with athletes for any amount of time you have a few that you could add – leave them below in the comments!
Written by Rick Peters
Rick Peters is a Certified Athletic Trainer who has been advancing ankle bracing technology for three decades. Peters patented his first ankle brace in 1985, revolutionizing the industry by adding a hinge to traditional stirrup braces for greater mobility. In 1989 he was a founder and became President of Active Ankle Systems. In 1998 he co-founded Ultra Athlete LLC to develop the next generation of ankle bracing technology. Peters has 18 ankle brace patents and is considered an authority on ankle bracing technology worldwide.