Student Injuries and Their Impacts: One Hawk’s Journey


Addy Tolman, Reporter

Injuries are an all-too-common issue among student-athletes. According to a study done by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children’s Hospital, there are an estimated 2 million injuries among student-athletes each year, with 500,000 resulting in doctor’s visits, and 300,000 resulting in hospitalization.

Senior Ali Davis is familiar with injuries. A member of the varsity girl’s soccer team, Davis was playing with her team when her leg went one way and her knee went another, tearing her ACL. Her injury required surgery and has an estimated 9-12 month recovery period.

“I was really frustrated and sad,” Davis said. “It’s my senior year, and I’m not going to be able to play the whole year.” Serious injuries, such as Davis’s, have far-reaching negative impacts on student athletes’ careers and well-being. Because Davis will be unable to play this season, she will not have the opportunity to be seen by coaches from colleges and universities. Injuries that prevent players from playing during the season make it much harder to be scouted.

But the loss of the scouting opportunity is not the only effect injuries have on student-athletes. Injuries can trigger mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. The loss of the routine provided by their sport can also leave players feeling lost and disoriented. Recovering from both the physical and mental impacts of an injury can prove to be a great challenge to the student-athlete. Physical and mental therapy can help students recover.

For Ali Davis, her injury has posed challenges, but she feels that her injury has allowed her to see some things more clearly. “Going to physical therapy has made me realize how lucky I am,” Davis said. “There are people there that have had brain injuries or other severe things that make it so they’ll never be the same again. I’m lucky to know that I’ll be back to normal again.” Her injury has also forced her to reassess her future plans, while also putting her life into perspective. “I have started to realize that there’s more to life than soccer, and it has to end at some point. Right now I’m thinking about doing a year of community college then leaving on a mission for my church.” Although her injury has been a challenge, she is glad that it has provided her with the opportunity to serve a mission.