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PCA Resource Center

Recovery From Injury

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Leslie Osborne is a former professional soccer player and PCA National Advisory Board member. She began her career at Santa Clara University, playing for PCA National Advisory Board Member Jerry Smith (@SCUJerrySmith). During her collegiate career she won an NCAA championship and was honored with the Honda Sports Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding collegiate female athlete. After college, she became a member of the US Women’s National Soccer Team and played for several women’s professional soccer league teams before retiring in 2014.

Having dealt with a devastating ACL tear that caused her to miss the 2008 Olympics, Osborne has insights to share on how to best recover from injuries. Here she emphasizes the importance of a positive attitude and maintaining perspective as contributors to the recovery process. When she was forced to sit out during the Games, she reevaluated her role on the team to determine how to remain engaged and impactful, but in a markedly different way. That didn’t get her down; instead she put everything she could into her new role as leader and encourager.

Taking time to recover from injury also gave Osborne a chance to see what other opportunities might present. Playing soccer all the time made it difficult to see outside of that sport, and Osborne began viewing her injury as a chance to explore other aspects of life and evaluate her next step – a positive and encouraging tack in response to an unfortunate circumstance.