ACL Injury · Coach Brad · Success

The Hard Work has Paid Off – Back to the Soccer Field

Austin Seelbach, who is a 15 year old student at Hilton Head High School writes another blog post to be included in her series about her ACL recovery story. Her determination, courage, and fearlessness are expressed in each written passage and I hope we all have strengthened our own mindset through Austin’s persistence for SUCCESS.  I hope you enjoy the read: 

photoIt has been about a month or so since I have gotten cleared, and when I finally got cleared it was one of the happiest days of my life. I was so excited to actually be able to play full contact, and not having to worry about anything at all, just play that game I love. My teammates on my school team were so supportive of me coming back, and they were all just as excited as I was when I came to practice and suited up. My first game back was such a rush, my adrenaline was pumping so hard that is didn’t even matter if I was out of shape. I think I played the first 20 minutes soley on adrenaline. It felt so good to put my jersey back on. I hadn’t felt that good in a long time. Of course I was a little slow in the beginning and definitely out of shape, but anyone who knows my high school coach Ernie Suozzi, knows that you will get in shape fast during his practices.

A week after I came back, I had ECNL tryouts for my CESA team. I was excited to play with them again, and it’s always nice to play that high intense level of soccer. I knew I was going to be a little slower than everyone else just because I had just came back a week earlier. It was definitely a wake up call for me that I was going to need to do a lot of extra work to get back to the level that I was at before. But of course my teammates were super supportive as was my coach.

But as always, I had a little set back. I had been working hard at high school practice to earn a starting position as center back. When we were warming up for our first round of playoff games, my coach pulled me over and told me that I would be starting at center back. I was absolutely floored and so excited. When I heard my name called out in the starting line-up, I was so proud of how far I have come and how hard I have worked to come back. As I have said in earlier posts, my parents and I made the decision to not wear my brace when I was playing. We felt like I didn’t need it, and we did plenty of research and we thought it out. So, in about the middle of the first half, I was chasing down a girl and I went to cut her off and when I went to cut, my knee gave out. It was the same feeling as when I tore my ACL. I went down and the first thought in my head was that I tore it again. Words can’t describe what those few moments were like for me. My teammates came over and asked what happened and I told them it was my bad knee. My trainer came over and I told him the same thing. He tried to calm me down and told me that it would be okay, and I was perfectly fine. I walked off the field and I felt fine, my knee just felt really stiff. It didn’t feel slippery like it did when I tore it. I iced it the rest of the first half, and we were going to see how it felt after half time. I knew that it probably wasn’t torn and I did some running at half time, and it hurt but I knew I could play. I went back in in the second half and I didn’t push it very hard. I did go into some hard tackles and my knee felt fine, it just swelled up and hurt. There was obviously something wrong with it, but it most likely wasn’t my ACL.

The next morning, I went and got it checked out by a physical therapist and he said that its most likely not my ACL, just something smaller. But there was still a possibility that it could be. I went and got an MRI that day and we thought that we were going to get the results back in a few days. It turned out that Dr. Dean had heard about my knee and he got the results as soon as he could. He called my dad at 9:30 that night and told us that it was just a bone bruise and that I sprained my MCL. My whole family let out a huge sigh of relief. The most amazing thing about this, is how many people I had praying for me. We had all my family and friends praying, and this truly does show the power of prayer. I will be out for another 4-6 weeks, which I absolutely hate, but what would life be without some challenges along the way. It kills me that I wasn’t able to play in the rest of my high schools playoff games, but we now have the 3A State Championship on Friday and I am so incerdibly excited. My team has worked so hard for this, and if we win, then this will be our 4th state championship in a row. I wish that I could contribute more to the team, but for right now I will just be screaming my head off on the sidelines.

A quote that has really helped me is “Whatever brings you down, will eventually make you stronger.” by Alex Morgan. She is obviously one of my role models, and I know that during these next few weeks I will be getting my knee stronger and more stable as well as my mental state stronger. I know that after this, I truly will be able to face anything.

Thanks for reading my post!!!

Austin Seelbach

Austin has done an amazing job in chronicling her come back from ACL surgery.  I highly suggest reading her other blog posts as this young lady is an inspiration to us all.

Thanks for being part of the blog as we continue on in making positive change for all sport participants, coaches, and fans.

Coach Brad

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