Injured Athlete: Ally Werkema

Injured+Athlete%3A+Ally+Werkema

Ally Werkema is a triple sport athlete that has faced many injuries in her lifetime. The sophomore plays school and club volleyball, is on the ski team, and horse races. Although, she has acquired most of her injuries from playing volleyball.

How many different types of injuries have you encountered?

“I’ve seen and experienced a lot of injuries. The most common that I’ve seen and had through volleyball though are ankle, shoulder, and knee injuries. I’ve injured my ankles lots of times, my shoulder once, and tore my meniscus slightly.”

How were each of the ankle injuries obtained?

“All of my ankle injuries were from jumping and landing wrong. My most recent one I landed on the foot of the middle from the other side when she came under the net and went down really hard. My other ones have been from coming down onto a ball, off balance, or landing on someone else.”

How long were some of the recovery processes?

“My longest recovery process was probably about six months, which isn’t bad compared to a lot of people. Mine have been so short because I haven’t broken anything yet, I’ve just torn things.”

What did you do for recovery for those injuries?

“For all of my injuries I ended up in physical therapy, which is great, but when you have a broken yourself as many times as I have the ligaments in your ankles get stretchy. Because of this, I have to be careful and wear braces and tape when I play sports.”

How did coaches and teammates help you through your recovery processes?

“My coaches have always been great about helping me recover. Usually, they give you exercises and encouragement so that you can stay in shape and get right back to playing when you are better. Teammates always have your back and are sympathetic because most of them have gone through it before.”

How have those injuries impacted the way you play now?

“I’m usually more careful jumping and landing when I play now. I try to stay in balance and go to the floor or catch myself if I feel like something is going to happen, but overall it hasn’t changed much.”