Matthew Guest - Down but not out

By Nathaniel Nelson

Canadian National player Matthew Guest suffered the cruelest blow missing the final world league qualifying match against France through injury. Below are his reflections on this challenging time.

"Not the way I had hoped to end our World League Round 2 tournament in St Germain Paris. Broken thumb and finger, missing the crucial final game against France, failing to qualify for Round 3 and now 2 months on the sidelines.

I am in the middle of a tough part of my hockey career - injured, missing big games and crossing my fingers that no complications will keep me out of the Pan American Cup in August.

When I looked down at my bent thumb, I knew immediately that I was staring down the barrel of some surgery. My brain started racing with the impact this was going to have. At first, all I could see were the negatives that the injury raised: missing the France game; the impact on the rest of the team; terrified about the local anesthetic in my thumb for the surgery ; worrying about the pain on my journey home; my mum is going to be worried; how am I going to work... There were more, but you get the point! Now that I have been home a few days and had a bit more time to reflect I am starting to look at the opportunities that lay ahead.

One of the biggest things that has limited me in the past is my fitness, I have always struggled to get to where I need to be. I have threatened to get close in the last 8 months but have not quite reached where I want to be. This is without doubt my biggest goal for the next 2 months. I can't hold a stick for the interim. Whilst this is an obvious negative, it provides me with the opportunity to focus on physiology.

The other major opportunity I see is being able to test my mental strength. I have worked hard at controlling my mental fragility, as I know it has held me back in the past. I have made some significant gains in this area and want to make sure this injury only helps to build on the progress I have made.

Two months feels like an eternity at the moment. I am sure it will fly by and the challenge I face is to make sure it is time gained not lost."

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