"I know that I will come back as a much more aware and more explosive athlete this time around"
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Taylor Hall suffered 2 ACL injuries in her left knee, in 2019 and 2021. Taylor is a college athlete playing for the women’s basketball team at Biola University. She attended Eastern New Mexico University for her freshman season, and in the process of transferring to Biola, she tore her ACL for a second time.
MY LEFT KNEE BUCKLED IN AND I HEARD A CRACKING NOISE.
01. WHEN, WHERE AND HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
“March 30, 2020. I was playing pick-up games at a local gym. I went up for a left-handed layup and one of the guys I was playing against landed on top of me after trying to block my shot. As I fell to the ground, my left knee buckled in and I heard a cracking noise.”
02. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING ABOUT DURING THOSE MOMENTS?
“As soon as I heard the cracking noise I thought “not again” since I felt a similar feeling last year when I tore my ACL. I was worried about my knee and wanted to get it checked out right away.”
YES, I HAD TORN MY ACL LAST YEAR.
03. DID YOU KNOW WHAT AN ACL INJURY WAS?
“Yes, I had torn my ACL last year, but my knee was much more stable this time around so I didn’t think I tore it completely, or at all. I actually didn’t know I was going to have to get my ACL repaired until after I woke up from surgery.”
04. WHERE AND BY WHOM DID YOU GET SURGERY?
“I had my meniscus and ACL repaired by Dr. Jeffrey Vaughn at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.”
05. HOW DID THE SURGERY GO?
“Surgery was successful, but different than I expected. I went into surgery thinking only my meniscus was going to be repaired since my MRI showed a complete meniscus tear. After I woke up from surgery, I found out that my ACL was also completely torn so it has to be replaced using my quad tendon.”
AFTER I WOKE UP FROM SURGERY, I FOUND OUT THAT MY ACL WAS ALSO COMPLETELY TORN SO IT HAS TO BE REPLACED USING MY QUAD TENDON.
06. WHERE DID YOU DO YOUR REHAB?
“I attend MOVE Human Performance Center. Every day that I go in for therapy I feel motivated to get better because of the competitive environment and athletes I am surrounded by there.”
07. HOW DID THE REHABS GO?
“For my first ACL tear, my rehab went really well, and I returned to playing basketball feeling like a better player and athlete. This time around, I am feeling a lot stronger and more stable than I did at the 6 week point in my recovery last year.”
08. DO YOU CONSIDER THE PHYSICAL OR THE MENTAL PART TO BE THE TOUGHEST? AND WHY?
“The mental part of recovery is definitely more difficult than the physical. Knowing that it will be many months before I am able to play in a basketball game again is a hard pill to swallow. It’s tough to not focus on the ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’s’ and to stay in the moment and trust the process. Setting goals for my upcoming season has helped me to stay focused and keep a clear mind.”
SETTING GOALS FOR MY UPCOMING SEASON HAS HELPED ME TO STAY FOCUSED AND KEEP A CLEAR MIND.
09. HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE YOUR COMEBACK?
“My college season at Eastern New Mexico University was completely cancelled last year, but I was able to return to playing in pick-up games about 7 ½ months after my first surgery. I was feeling stronger and better than before my injury.”
10. ARE YOU PLAYING AND/OR TRAINING DIFFERENTLY NOW AFTER THE INJURY?
“After my first ACL tear, I was moving smoother on the court with better change of speed and direction. I was also more aware of how and where I was landing on the court. Unfortunately, a freak accident occurred this time and I couldn’t control my landing which resulted in another injury. I know that I will come back as a much more aware and more explosive athlete this time around.”
11. WHAT WERE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THESE INJURIES IN RELATION TO YOUR CAREER?
“Last year I was forced to sit out the rest of my freshman season and had to spend my summer focusing on rehabbing my knee. This year, I didn’t have to miss any games since my season was cancelled, but I am having to focus a lot on gaining strength back in my leg. I am still able to work on certain aspects of my basketball game but would rather be using this time on playing against better competition to gain in-game experience.”
12. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR ATHLETES WITH A SIMILAR INJURY?
“Everything happens for a reason. Setting goals, both during the rehab process and for when you return to sport, is super important and has helped me to stay focused on what I will be able to accomplish in the future.”
13. BEST ATHLETE WITH AN ACL INJURY HISTORY?
“Klay Thompson and Derrick Rose.”
14. ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD TO THIS INTERVIEW?
“God puts us in every situation for a reason! Anyone who has gone through, or is going through, injury rehab, know that God has a plan for every one of us!”
SETTING GOALS, BOTH DURING THE REHAB PROCESS AND FOR WHEN YOU RETURN TO SPORT, IS SUPER IMPORTANT.
Text: Jeroen van de Camp, Team-ACL.com
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