Staying Tough when Faced with Fear
Jan. 27, 2006
By Julie Moses, Bucknell Athletic Communications
For athletes at all levels, suffering an injury can be one of their worst fears. One bad fall can mean an early end to a game, season, or in the scariest of cases, the end of a career.
Junior Lindsey Hollobaugh had her brush with that fear early in the 2005-06 basketball season while playing at the Air Force Classic back in early December, when she suffered a torn MCL in her knee in the first four minutes in the what ended up as a 58-41 loss against Air Force.
"I knew it was bad because I felt something pop," remembers Hollobaugh. "Luckily it wasn't an ACL tear, but once I got in to get my knee checked out, the doctors at Air Force had told me I would be out six weeks, which came as a huge shock to me because six weeks is well into Patriot League play. I came back home to get a second opinion and the doctors here told me I would only miss four weeks, which was a huge relief."
Having started in every game since she was a freshman, the Loganton, Pa., native was forced to sit and watch her team play from the sidelines.
"It was extremely hard," says the co-captain, who is the unquestioned leader on a team that features no seniors and just two juniors. "I love the game and I love to play, but sitting out actually gave me a different perspective by watching the team play, rather than playing. I was able to see some of our strengths and weaknesses and I contributed to the team in that regard. I became a different kind of supporter than what I was used to being, instead of being a supporter on the floor, I became a supporter from the bench. Even though not being able to play was difficult, I was right there along side them."
After initially suffering her setback, Hollobaugh always kept her eyes on being able to make a comeback this year and help her team on the floor during the most crucial part of the season; league play.
"I have seen action in three games now and I am back to full practices," Hollobaugh remarks. "I am still doing therapy work, but everything is starting to come back."
Coming back into action is not very easy for any athlete who has been out of the game for awhile. Feeling nervous, scared and out of shape are feelings very common to an athlete making a comeback.
"I was very nervous my first game back, I had not seen any game action for an entire month," says Hollobaugh, who had averaged more than 37 minutes per game throughout her career prior to her injury. "At practice the day before my first game back, we played some five-on-five half court drills, but I really did not play full court ball. At first I was a little shaky, but I soon got back into the swing of things."
For an athlete to have outside support, the road to recovery seems shorter and easier to conquer.
"I had a lot of support from my teammate and coaches, and I was getting a lot of emails from friends and family, even professors here on campus, so that was an enormous help," remembers Hollobaugh.
Hollobaugh recently scored her first basket after being back in action for the Bison, a feat which didn't happen until her third game back, the 88-51 win against Navy.
"My team was there all along trying to help me keep my confidence up, staying positive and saying that one day everything will come back to me, and on Saturday, it did," says the guard, who is close to becoming the 15th player in Bucknell history to secure 1,000 career points.
Having a full recovery is something Hollobaugh is intent on achieving.
"I am going to continue to play with a leg brace on, but I am pretty much on my way back to being the player I was before I hurt my knee," remarks Hollobaugh, who was a Second Team All-Patriot League selection in 2004-05.
With league play underway, Bucknell will now try to make their run in the Patriot League, and Hollobaugh anticipates being right along side of her team.
"I think we can win the Patriot League Championship," exclaims Hollobaugh, the Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2003-04, "we just knocked off Navy. If we play the way we played against them for the rest of the season, with our emotions high and teamwork strong, we should be in contention for the league title."
After overcoming what could have been a serious road block in her basketball career, Hollobaugh fought back and made a successful return and will now look to once again be a key player for her team in 2006.