Angie Fifer first enrolled at Penn State with a plan to become an athletic trainer. But during a class in sport psychology, she felt a tear roll down her cheek. Instantly, she knew she’d found her calling—to prevent other athletes from having the same experience she had.

When she was 16 and an aspiring gymnast, a serious fall on the uneven bars sent her to the hospital and threatened her future in the sport. (Just a heads-up to listeners, she describes the incident in a bit of detail around the 9:56 mark.)

The broken bones and stitches weren’t the worst part. Far more challenging was the transition from invincible to fragile in others’ eyes. Despite supportive parents and teammates, she still felt isolated and depressed without psychological help for the trauma.

On this week’s Injured Athletes Club, Angie shares more about this experience, as well as her transition to endurance sports and her work helping athletes and others “be their best a little bit more often.” We discuss:

  • How injuries are viewed in gymnastics, and how it’s sometimes hard for young athletes to take the long view (5:40)
  • Why gymnasts sometimes fear coming forward with injuries (8:55)
  • The big injury that changed the trajectory of her athletic career, and her life (9:56)
  • The biggest regret she has about that experience (18:55)
  • When it became clear she’d never compete again (22:57)
  • How she found her athletic fire again as an adult (30:35)
  • What happened when she got injured as a runner, and how different the experience was (33:45)
  • The most common emotions she sees in the injured athletes she works with (38:15)
  • How visualization can boost confidence and ease fears of re-injury (40:26)
  • Her biggest advice to coaches (45:13)



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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.