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Fuel Soccer Talk: Injuries hurt beyond the physical pain; Tim Howard recalls lowest point; Soccer follies

Erin’s Story: How injuries affect mental health

Athletes, parents and coaches have all dealt with or will deal with an injury. Players get hurt – it’s been part of the game since the game started. But there is a mental component to recovering from an injury.

All-American distance runner Erin Finn twice faced injuries at the height of her athletic success in college. The first one took her away from a top-ranked cross country team, while a second one derailed her chances for her junior year and a trip to the 2016 Olympic Trials. Nevertheless, Erin found purpose in something else that helped redefine who she was beyond running. That revelation made all the difference in her recovery.

Erin is the first athlete in Big Ten history to win three non-consecutive conference cross country crowns and was a 2017 AAU James E. Sullivan Award finalist (only female finalist in Michigan history).

Erin’s story is one of not only perseverance but growth and learning as a person. It’s a great lesson for runners, soccer players and all athletes and competitors.

Tim Howard remembers his most painful night on the pitch

Last Sunday, goalie Tim Howard, 40, officially retired. During an ESPN piece, Howard provided first-person accounts on his extensive playing career overseas, in MLS and with the US men’s national team.

Despite how great Howard was there were some low points – and he even brought one of them up. It was the October 2017 loss in Trinidad and Tobago that ensured the USMNT wouldn’t qualify for the following year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia. Howard was in goal for the 2-1 loss.

“That October night was the most horrific, miserable experience of my life, on and off the field,” Howard said. “It’s impossible to put into words. Even now, two years later, the pain is still as raw as if it happened yesterday. Nothing makes it go away. But life goes on. You have no other choice.”

Life does go on but it’s obvious that Howard is still dealing with a tough loss. Sometimes people think professional athletes at this level don’t really care at the end of the day. But you don’t work hard your whole life and achieve a dream without caring.

More from Tim Howard

Soccer Follies kicks up some amazing clips, highlights

Enjoy!

Send story ideas or suggestions to Terry Jacoby at tajacoby@comcast.net