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March 22, 2015

Having an Injury During the Recruiting Process

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Photo by University of Michigan

Injured: Name: Arielle Sanders

Major: Graduated University of Michigan; currently pursuing her Masters in the Ross Business University of Michigan’s Masters  Management program

Sport: Rowing 

Injury: Junior Year-Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, a bulging disk in her neck, and poor scapular Function, Senior Year- Broke three ribs

Timeline: Raced in the 1N freshman year after walking on the team, sophomore year raced in the 2V and got 7th at NCAA Championships and second at the Big Ten Championship

LRT Sports: What was the hardest part about finding out you were injured? How long was your recovery?

Arielle: The first injury the hardest part was the length of time it took the doctors to come up with a diagnosis and a plan for what I should do. The recovery for that injury took a year and a half. With the ribs, the hardest part was knowing that I had worked so hard to come back from the other injury to be fit and healthy and knowing that I would be out for another three months. It felt like I could not catch a break.

LRT Sports: How did you stay motivated throughout the recovery process?

Arielle: Knowing that if I worked hard enough to stay fit and get my body healthy that I would be able to come back as strong as I was before. Also, the work that I knew the team was putting in motivated me to keep going. I also love competing, and it was motivating to know that I could have that again.

LRT Sports: Were your coaches and teammates supportive? 

Arielle: They were not as supportive as I would have wanted them to be. People are so caught up in what they are doing, and I was so caught up in what I was doing, so it was hard.

LRT Sports: Was it hard to feel a part of the team while being injured?

Arielle: Yes, because I was separated from the team and people get into their routines, and you are just not a part of that when you can’t go to practice, so it’s hard.

LRT Sports: What is the most essential piece of advice that you can give a recruit or student-athlete as far as injury prevention is concerned?

Arielle: Having good posture goes a long way, and so does having strength in small muscles. The little things do matter and do not push yourself to the point of really hurting yourself to be a part of something.

LRT Sports: Is there anything you wish you did differently?

Arielle: Yes. For my junior year, I wish I had stopped when things started going badly. Same with my senior year. It is not worth it to push through the pain if you are not going to be able to do what you want.

LRT Sports: How was the transition into your current role as a student coach?

Arielle: It’s a strange feeling to be done with rowing after trying to get back for so long, and it’s weird to be on the other side. I am looking forward to working with the athletes again and making them awesome people first but also making them as fast as possible. It will also be cool to show them what Michigan Rowing is all about.

LRT Sports: As far as being a student-athlete, what were you most grateful for, and what was your most significant learning experience?

Arielle: I am most grateful for the opportunities that being a student-athlete has provided me and being in an environment of such competitive and strong women, especially my first couple years and the older girls who showed me the way.

Source: Stats from mgoblue.com 

At Michigan 

• Graduate student in the Ross School of Business 

• Majoring in business administration


• Returned from injury to race in 3V4 boat during B1G Rowing Championships. Crew placed 2nd with a time of 7:17.114


• Did not compete due to an injury


• Helped 2V8 crew win Petite Final in 7:02.998 to finish seventh overall at NCAA Rowing Championships 

• Rowed in stroke seat for 2V8 crew that finished second (6:45.34) at the Big Ten Rowing Championships on 5/18 

• Rowed in winning 2V8 boat against No. 17 Louisville and Michigan State on 5/3 

• Rowed in winning 2V4 boat against No. 9 Notre Dame on 4/19 

• Rowed in winning 2V8 boat on 4/12, with victories over Minnesota and No. 15 Wisconsin


• Member of Novice Team 

• Named Novice of the Year