Chris Nicola on his #roadtorecovery
The toughest athletes are not only able to overcome setbacks, but are also able to rise from them and come back even stronger.
Junior Chris Nicola, an outstanding soccer player, has made multiple sacrifices over the years to develop his talent in the sport he loves. He made a big decision to move from Washington to California his sophomore year to play for the prestigious Pateadores U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
“The academy program isn’t good in Washington, so I came here because the competition is higher,” Nicola said.
An hour into his first game back in January after a foot injury, Nicola went in for a tackle and twisted his knee. He continued to play thinking nothing of it. But after the swelling and pain continued days later, he knew something was wrong. Nicola went to the hospital for an MRI and was crushed after receiving devastating news of an ACL tear.
“It’s kind of like a shot to the heart. You just get depressed,” Nicola said. “I’ve been playing for 14 years, and it’s the worst injury I’ve had.”
Nicola had big plans to fulfill his dreams of playing in a professional soccer league.
“I had a pro tryout in Croatia in April, and I tore my ACL two weeks after hearing about this,” Nicola said. “At first I thought that was my last chance making it pro because that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.”
However, Nicola’s spirits were lifted when the coach said to keep him updated on the recovery. Hearing this, Nicola was determined to get back to the field as soon as possible.
“I started the #roadtorecovery to get all my friends and everyone on board with my progress, trying to make it back to where I was,” Nicola said.
He is working towards his goals one step at a time by going to physical therapy twice a week and training on his own to fine tune his skills. A month and a half ahead of schedule, Nicola is making a speedy recovery.
His friends, family and teammates are extremely supportive of his road to recovery and are constantly encouraging him to keep up with the progress.
“They keep pushing me everyday which helps a lot, and they don’t take it easy on me,” Nicola said.
Nicola continues to dream big and refuses to give up on his goals.
“I want to play college soccer and hopefully go to Croatia for that tryout,” Nicola said.