BY MILAN LUCIC
Growing up in British Columbia, I remember always watching
Coming back from an injury is never an easy thing.
When you are sitting around not doing much of anything for a few days while recovering and you try and get back on the ice, it feels like you have taken almost a month off. You feel slower, your endurance lags and you aren't as sharp on the puck.
I had to deal with this after suffering a mild concussion in one of our games not too long ago. With head injuries you have to be even more careful and make sure all the symptoms have gone away because sometimes the headaches can last a long time. Fortunately for me, I was cleared to play in a week and I haven’t had to deal with recurring headaches.
When I finally got back on the ice after taking some time off, it felt like training camp all over again.
I worked with the coaches on building up my stamina and strength and spent extra time after practice on the little things that I need to do to get better.
I noticed I wasn't as sharp and it probably took about an entire game to get everything back to normal.
Even though being out a few days doesn't seem like a long time, it really affects you. I think overcoming it goes back to the importance of the mental part of the game.
You always need to be mentally prepared to play.
When I was sidelined, I tried to focus on what positives I could do to stay ready. One of those things was just watching and studying how my teammates skate, move and react.
As a young player, you can learn a lot about the tendencies of your teammates just by watching. And when you do get back on the ice, you use those things you’ve observed and it helps you become a better player and a better teammate.
Thanks again to those readers who wrote in with questions and comments on my blog. We will get to those questions in my next entry.
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A native of Vancouver, Milan Lucic is a rookie with the Boston Bruins.