Written and Media by Taylor Ratcliffe.
In contact sports, injuries on a sports field are always likely to occur. However, most people are not cautious about the possibility of getting hurt. Coaches express the need for athletes to give it their all. How can a player do that if they are nervous of what COULD happen? This was the mentality of Tymber Gabbert, and then everything changed.
Gabbert has been playing soccer since she was five years old and never took a season off. When it wasn’t soccer season, she would play basketball; always in shape year around. Gabbert expected to go to college and play soccer for four years, but tearing her ACL changed everything. How could she play only three years of college ball? How could she just stop playing the sport she loved?
When it came time for her senior year, Gabbert had a different role on the Greenville Women’s soccer team. Since sophomore year, Gabbert was captain on the field. She was not only a crucial, skilled player, but she was also a leader on the field. Since she couldn’t play on the field anymore, her leadership skills adapted. She quickly became a great leader off the field as well.
On the field, Gabbert was a center-defender where she was the eyes of the defense and much of the offense. She directed both defenders and center-midfielders on when to push forward and when to put pressure on the ball and was a critical asset to the back line. Being injured and sitting on the bench did not stop her from directing the back line. Gabbert could be heard yelling on the sidelines, “UP!”, or correcting a player on what she needed to do better next time.
Since Gabbert has been in recovery for a year now, she experienced leadership in two different roles. Although she was a great leader on the field before her injury, the knowledge she’s attained from being a leader off the field will make her a phenomenal leader for her upcoming senior year.