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athletic support by eli cranor

Athletic Support: Daughter rolls ankle: Time to walk it off?

Dear Athletic Support:
My daughter rolled her ankle pretty bad in a recent volleyball game. It’s big and blue and nasty all over, but she can still walk on it. As her dad, I really want to teach her a lesson in toughness. I want her to get back out on the court and play as soon as possible. I know that’s what my dad or coach would’ve told me to do back in my playing days. And I’m not gonna lie — if this were my son, I’d tell him to, “Walk it off!” I wouldn’t hesitate. But since she’s my daughter, I’m not really sure what to do.

— Girl Dad

Dear Girl Dad: First off, it makes no difference whether we’re talking about your daughter or your son. I have a daughter. She’s just about to turn four, and I have made it a point to raise her up tough.

If I’m being honest, it’s probably one of the biggest things I’ve harped on throughout her short life. She falls, and I’m quick to tell her to get back up and, “Get tough.”

I don’t do this because of some macho, ego trip. I take this approach with my daughter because I know having a tough mindset will help her out in the long run.

I also make a very concentrated effort to let my daughter know she is loved. Any good coach (or parent) knows you have to achieve a balance if you want to get through to kids.

Your case, however, is different. It’s different because we’re dealing with an injury. Just because your daughter can walk on her ankle, doesn’t mean she’s in the clear.

To this day, my ankles still crackle and pop. I oftentimes wonder if this has to do with all the times I “walked it off.” One thing you didn’t mention in your question was your daughter’s age.

If she’s in junior high or younger, give her time to properly heal. Those formative years are about having fun and learning the game. If she’s older than that, and a serious contributor to the team, then I think it’s okay for her to consider pushing through the pain. I say this because at older ages, there is more of an obligation to the team. If she’s not seriously injured and can still help her team out, then by all means, sis, walk it off.

The one obvious omission I’ve made up until this point is whether or not your daughter should see a doctor. A medical professional will be able to give you a much more concrete answer to this question than I can, but then again, a trip to the doctor’s office could result in a much longer road to recovery.

In the end, it’s up to you… and your daughter.

Outside of athletics, kids’ brains are also at risk. Who knows what sort of impact virtual learning will have on their cognition and critical thinking skills. In this regard, I offer one simple tool — a good book! And luckily, I know just the book for kids struggling with the shift to virtual learning:


books make brainz taste badOkay, you caught me… I’m the author of this book. It was published last week and awarded a #1 New Release ranking on Amazon. BMBTB deals directly with the same topic covered in this column, except in a much more lighthearted, kid-friendly way (zombie teachers and brain-munching screens!)

If you end up purchasing this book for your children or grandchildren, I only have one final suggestion — ask them to read it while standing up!

Eli Cranor's new book Books Make Brainz Taste Bad has just been released. ZOMBIES HATE BOOKS! Especially the zombie teachers at Haven Middle School. That's why they're using VR headsets to fry kids' brainz. Luckily, Dash Storey knows how to save his classmates from the zombie teachers—BOOKS! They make brainz taste bad!

"Eli Cranor has an almost unbeatable advantage. He can remember how it felt to think like a twelve-year-old and he can see the very same events like the adult he is. Don't try to resist this book!"
- Jack Butler, Pulitzer-Prize nominated author

Previous Athletic Support Columns:
College football cancelled but my son’s still playing
Shift to virtual learning causing lag in young athletes
What you look for, you will find
Back to school woes
Football guidelines a breeze compared to band
What to do if your season stalls
Left behind
Travel ball leads to constipation
Collegiate sports for fun or money?
No right answer
Sunburns not part of the game
Summertime soreness
Vulnerability is key in uncertain times
Sick of COVID-19
Racial tensions rise as sports gear up again
Silver lining for post pandemic sports
Wearing masks to practice
Coach disappears after season is cancelled
What happens to the team if a player gets COVID-19?
Will there be football in the fall?
With sports gone, son’s grades tanking
Lost without sports
Teddy bears and tessellations
Cornavirus? We’ve got games to play!
Girlfriend getting in the way
A parent’s role when sports are over
Talk to your grandkids, carefully
At what age should sports stop being fun?
What ever happened to going door to door?
Lack of respect for track
Should my son take supplements?
I need your help
Help! My daughter wants to play football
Transferring to a smaller school: the good, the bad, and the ugly
What’s that smell? It’s not as bad as you think
A break from school but not from sports
Should a coach pray with his team?
Coach tells player not to shoot
Do nice guys (and girls) really finish last?
Coach cancels post-season awards banquet
No cellphones in the locker room!
Fake scholarship signing?
Withholding football as punishment
Sick and tired of losing
Late bloomer, a blessing or a curse?
Scholarship hopes dead, now what?
Is my son a butterfly chaser?
Don’t force sports on your kids
Hunting or Football?
Beat the Heat
Idle Hands
Coach’s son gets special attention

Published September 5, 2020

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