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9 | Olympic Pitcher Joey Wagman: Riding the Recovery Roller Coaster

The Injured Athletes Club

Release Date: 01/09/2020

31 | Olympian Mechelle Lewis Freeman: Finding the Opportunity show art 31 | Olympian Mechelle Lewis Freeman: Finding the Opportunity

The Injured Athletes Club

Mechelle Lewis Freeman had put everything on the line to achieve her Olympic dream. She’d walked away from a successful career in advertising, moved to a full-time training facility, and calculated everything from the grams of protein she ingested to the positive mantras running through her head. Injury threatened to derail her, but because she’d invested in training her body and also her mind, Mechelle was able to see opportunity in the obstacle—a mindset she maintains as a coach and non-profit leade

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30 | Trans Athlete, Coach, and Activist Chris Mosier: Claiming Your Legacy show art 30 | Trans Athlete, Coach, and Activist Chris Mosier: Claiming Your Legacy

The Injured Athletes Club

Chris Mosier has made history before, as the first transgender athlete to represent the United States in international competition, appear in the ESPN Body Issue, and be sponsored by Nike. In January, he once again blazed a trail at the Olympic Trials for the 50K racewalk, becoming the first transgender athlete to qualify and compete in the Trials in the gender with which they identify. However, injury nearly robbed him of the chance to make it to the starting line. Chris shares more on this episode.

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29 | Paralympic Gold Medalist Alana Nichols: Embracing New Identities show art 29 | Paralympic Gold Medalist Alana Nichols: Embracing New Identities

The Injured Athletes Club

Basketball, ski racing, sprint kayaking, surfing—Alana Nichols’ athletic career has brought her to the highest levels of a wide range of sports. Still, she tells us on this week’s show, as a Paralympian she often struggled to get the same care for her injuries as her able-bodied peers. Alana's advocacy has carried over into her newer roles as president of the Women’s Sports Foundation and mother of baby Gunnar,

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28 | Soccer Coach and Mental Skills Consultant Amanda Ferranti: The Courage to Care show art 28 | Soccer Coach and Mental Skills Consultant Amanda Ferranti: The Courage to Care

The Injured Athletes Club

The second time Amanda Ferranti tore her ACL, she had a feeling her soccer career was over. Even as she coped with the challenges of recovery and retirement, she was working on another project: a system to help other injured athletes manage their emotions and thrive through, and beyond, their rehab process. In this episode, Amanda—now a soccer coach and certified mental performance consultant at Ferranti Empowerment—outlines the process by which she journaled and planned her way to a successful future.

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27 | Elite Runner Alia Gray: Breaking the Cycle show art 27 | Elite Runner Alia Gray: Breaking the Cycle

The Injured Athletes Club

We first spoke with this week’s guest, pro distance runner Alia Gray, in person during Olympic Marathon Trials weekend in February in Atlanta. She’d chosen not to run the race despite a qualifying time and an injury-free stretch—a choice made from joy rather than fear, she says, and one she describes at length in this episode. We caught up with her again in late April to find out how she was faring since the coronavirus pandemic upended her season.

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26 | Water Skier and Coach Matteo Luzzeri: Strength Through Support show art 26 | Water Skier and Coach Matteo Luzzeri: Strength Through Support

The Injured Athletes Club

In slalom water skiing, Matteo Luzzeri says, “you’re playing tug of war against a 6.2-liter engine boat.” Injury—both from overuse and from sudden, traumatic events—comes with the territory. On this week’s episode, Matteo—who's also a Ph.D. in sport psychology—shares the story of his most serious injury, a ruptured Achilles in September 2014. Support and mental skills techniques both helped him come back stronger, he explains.

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25 | Cindy and Carrie on the Rebound Lifestyle, mid-Pandemic show art 25 | Cindy and Carrie on the Rebound Lifestyle, mid-Pandemic

The Injured Athletes Club

This podcast—and our book Rebound: Train Your Mind to Bounce Back Stronger from Sports Injuries—exist primarily to teach mental skills to sidelined athletes. But we’ve always known these lessons and techniques can transcend injury, and even sports performance. While we never imagined we’d be applying them to a global pandemic, here we are—and both of us, Carrie and Cindy, have been finding the same mental drills we use to bounce back from injury surprisingly relevant. Here's how.

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12 | Former Gymnast and Mental Performance Consultant Angie Fifer: Another Door Opens show art 12 | Former Gymnast and Mental Performance Consultant Angie Fifer: Another Door Opens

The Injured Athletes Club

Angie Fifer first enrolled at Penn State with a plan to become an athletic trainer. But during a class in sport psychology, she instantly knew she’d found her calling—to prevent other athletes from having the same experience she had. When she was 16, a serious fall on the uneven bars sent her to the hospital and threatened her future in the sport. Angie shares more about this experience, her transition to endurance sports, and her work helping athletes and others “be their best a little bit more often

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11 | Canadian Olympian and Runner Jessica O’Connell: Today, Not Tomorrow show art 11 | Canadian Olympian and Runner Jessica O’Connell: Today, Not Tomorrow

The Injured Athletes Club

After overcoming multiple injuries to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in the nick of time, 5,000-meter runner Jessica O’Connell faced another series of setbacks as she prepared for the Games. Through it all, she's realized adversity strikes everyone—the best (and luckiest) among us are those who can persevere. It’s an attitude that’s served her well throughout her career. She views injuries as disappointing but not devastating, in large part because she now has a plan to deal with them.

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10 | Runner and Writer Jen A. Miller on Trusting Yourself show art 10 | Runner and Writer Jen A. Miller on Trusting Yourself

The Injured Athletes Club

Jen A. Miller has been writing about running for The New York Times since 2010. Last year, she sustained a serious setback, a stress fracture in her tibia. In the weekly running newsletter she now writes for the Times, she chronicled her journey, from the anger and frustration at her diagnosis to an emotional comeback, running the New York City Marathon with her mother. On this episode, Jen—the author of the memoir Running: A Love Story—shares her experiences.

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More Episodes

If you ask Joey Wagman to describe his baseball career, he’ll tell you—with a wink—it’s a bit unorthodox. Since his 2013 graduation from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he earned All-American honors and served as team captain for two years, he’s played in both the minor leagues and several different independent leagues.  

Since 2013, he’s also pitched for Team Israel, thanks to rules that allow those with Jewish heritage to represent the country at many levels of play. To reach the top echelon, however—the Olympic Games—requires national citizenship. So in 2018, Wagman and nine of his Jewish-American teammates became dual citizens

This past September, Joey pitched for his new nation in the Africa/Europe 2020 Olympic Qualification tournament—leading them to victory and securing the team’s spot in Tokyo. It’s a moment that, back in high school or even early in his pro career, he never could have imagined, he told us on this week’s episode of The Injured Athletes Club. 

He also explains that the high he’s riding was made all the more meaningful due to the lows from which he’d recently emerged—a shoulder injury the prior summer that required surgery in December of 2018 and affected his mental health in ways that caught him off guard.

On this episode, Joey shares:

  • More about how it is that he came to be playing in the Olympics for Team Israel (6:32)
  • How injuries are viewed in baseball generally, and among pitchers specifically (12:27)
  • The shoulder injury that set him back last year, and why an incorrect diagnosis and prognosis at first was so devastating (13:56)
  • How The Injured Athletes Club podcast played a role in Joey’s recovery (and also why it was sometimes tough to listen) (18:50)
  • The darker days he experienced along the way, and how they took him by surprise (20:21)
  • Why he feels so compelled to share them: To let other athletes know they’re not alone, and they won’t feel that way forever (22:35)
  • Why it’s important to recognize baseball as something he does, but not all he is (25:52)
  • The biggest factors in lifting him out of the low spots (26:49)
  • His most crucial advice for other injured athletes (28:51)
  • How he plans to continue building his confidence heading toward the 2020 Games (37:07)

Resources/links:

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DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational & informational use only and & does not constitute medical advice. Do not disregard, avoid or delay obtaining medical or health related advice from your health-care professional because of something you may have heard in an episode of this podcast. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with a qualified medical professional for proper evaluation & treatment. Guests who speak on this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions, and The Injured Athletes Club podcast hosts nor any company providing financial support endorses or opposes any particular treatment option discussed in the episodes of this podcast and are not responsible for any actions or inactions of listeners based on the information presented. The use of any information provided is solely at your own risk.