I know this from experience. I played a whole season with a heel injury and, because it got no rest, I spent the following summer in pain. It was a ‘nothing injury’, or so it seemed at the time.
Injuries need sufficient rest
You will find your players are so keen to play, they will not tell you they are carrying injuries, or if the doctor has told them to rest for a couple of weeks. They will not want to miss matches during the season, especially if you are on a winning run.
Heel injuries are quite common and I now know that a lot of them, mine included, are a result of the high backs on soccer boots. These rub the back of the heel causing pain. The cure is to make two cuts into the back of the heel of the boot to make it less rigid.
It’s a great tip that someone gave me, and it has worked for me, and a lot of the players in my team who have suffered from heel problems.
You have to be careful when parents and children cover up injuries. They may not want to miss the all important match, but they cannot play if they have been told to rest.
It’s hard for you as their football coach if you do not know the extent of the injury and have to rely on parents. On one occasion, one of my best attackers had hurt her ankle - playing hockey - and couldn’t play in a key game. She had been told to rest by the doctor.
In the first game we played without her, we were drawing 2-2. Her mom came over and asked me if I wanted to put her daughter on. “She’ll be all right,” she said. The player herself was begging to be let on.
However, I had to say no, despite their protests that we would lose without her. Her well-being came above winning.