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Howard: Tourette's makes me a better goalkeeper

25/02/2015  Comments (18)  jump

Everton and USA goalkeeper Tim Howard says that having Tourette's Syndrome has made him a better goalkeeper, giving him the hyperfocus' he needs to make split-second saves in penalty shootouts.

Howard told CNN that he couldn't imagine life without Tourette's and said that if he were somehow given the opportunity to live a life free of the syndrome, he would not take it.

I found a way to cope with it and succeed and so it's hard for me to say exactly who I would be or what type of goalkeeper I would be [without Tourette's Syndrome]It's hard for me to imagine what a day would be like without Tourette's syndrome because I am so content and happy with who I am. I would probably say, 'No'."

The keeper — whose incredible performance at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil which spawned the hashtag of last year #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave — also spoke to CNN about fatherhood, retirement and his trademark facial hair, which he hinted could soon be disappearing.

I like to be clean-shaven, I like to have a full beard. The problem is it takes a good six months to get to that point I want to keep it as long as l can, but I think it'll go. It'll go sooner rather than later.

» Read the full article at CNN

Reader Comments (18)

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Peter Mills
1 Posted 25/02/2015 at 18:44:33
Interesting comments. One can only congratulate Tim on coming to terms with a very difficult condition, and wish him well with every aspect of his life.

I donÂ’t know very much about the syndrome, but this makes me wonder whether it is something he can manage when he has time to gather himself, such as penalty, but prone to panic when he doesnÂ’t?

Tim Greeley
2 Posted 25/02/2015 at 19:14:44
Not the best time for this article to show up on TW. Can only imagine the comments to come...
However, everyone should respect the hurdles that TH has overcome and show some level of respect for his service. He should also sit on the bench the rest of the season and then leave for NYC FC this summer.
Jonathan Benn
7 Posted 25/02/2015 at 19:57:51
I know what he means, my beard of 3 months went last week as it was a pain in the arse. Hopefully when he shaves it off he gets his mojo back!
David Hallwood
14 Posted 25/02/2015 at 22:11:32
If thatÂ’s the case, how bad would he be without Tourettes
Graham Greengrass
17 Posted 25/02/2015 at 23:03:03
Think he's just had a off day, no need for all the negativity.

"Don't bin Tim"

Andrew Ellams
18 Posted 26/02/2015 at 10:55:40
Off day Graham? Only if that day started in August
Mike Childs
19 Posted 26/02/2015 at 11:34:57
Touché Andrew. Only last year when he was in a contract year did he looked capable.
Mike Dolan
20 Posted 26/02/2015 at 17:02:37
I also wish him well, it's amazing that he has achieved so much in spite of his Tourettes Syndrome. From what I have read Tourettes is notoriously tricky to control with the various psych meds that are available.
Tim can be an amazing 'reaction' keeper at times but whenever he has a second or two to think about making a save he panics and ends up flapping around like something from Sea World. Penalties are a little different because its 50'50 that you dive the right way each time.
Tim's spectacular inconsistencies have always been there and they will never go away. The pressure that is put on our defenders because of Tim's wildly bizarre performances is enormous.
Good luck to Tim I hope he has a happy life but I've seen all I can take of him as Evertons goalkeeper.
Reg Gates
21 Posted 27/02/2015 at 05:21:10
Bin Tim and Roberto, the backroom staff – that great bunch of winners that came from Wigan. [Now I’m smiling just writing that...]
Kevin Jones
22 Posted 27/02/2015 at 12:31:46
Well I've never had Tourettes, FUCKOFF, but it must be, WANK, awful trying to get a, ARSEWIPE, sentence out without an expletive. I wonder if the, FUCK A DUCK, refs are warned about his condition before a, BASTARD, game.

My Cousin fell off a TWATTING, Wall and developed Tourettes and although you shouldn't laugh, BALLSACKS, its hilarious listening to, FUCKFACE, him.

Anyone offended by this, BELLEND, I'm sorry but can't help it. Honest!!

Matt Traynor
23 Posted 01/03/2015 at 05:41:45
Well, as someone not afflicted with Tourettes, watching Tim between the sticks this season has had me sounding like I am...
Ernie Baywood
24 Posted 01/03/2015 at 07:02:32
"Jacob plays in goal and mimics everything I do, which makes me beam and sometimes cringe"

That's impressive mimicking. We do the same.

To be fair I hadn't heard this side of Tim's story. Being away from your kids would be tough. Sounds like he's jetting back to the US whenever he can get a few days off.

Maybe that's taking the edge off him?

David Barks
25 Posted 01/03/2015 at 07:07:57
For all the idiots who think Tourette's is simply about shouting certain profain words, I'd like to kindly tell you to "fuck off", from another who happens to have Tourette's. It's taken my entire life to come to terms with it, albeit I don't have the issue of yelling out uncontrollably, as that is only something those with the most severe form have. It is something that is incredibly difficult to manage and you never actually overcome it, you just learn how to cope and attempt to control. Stress and attention from the masses is literally a person with Tourette's worst nightmare.

Strangely enough I also found that sport was where I found the most comfort. It took another 20 years for me to bring that same sense of control and confidence into a boardroom, but I honestly am thankful every day for the minor case that I have. If you really want to watch something that will change your life I suggest the documentary "I Have Tourette's but Tourette's Doesn't Have Me". It changed my entire outlook on my condition and I still am brought to tears within minutes. I know this isn't usually the forum for serious subject matter, but this topic happens to be exactly that. It sounds funny, but until you know what it's like to be speaking in front of the CEO and unable to control shoulder and facial twitches, while attempting to remember your presentation, you have no idea how traumatizing it is. Now picture yourself being 7 years old and that self-conscious. What Tim Howard has overcome is nothing to be ignored or diminished.

Phil Gardner
27 Posted 03/03/2015 at 18:45:25
Kevin @22
I merely suggested that he pack his bags and ffffuck off...and my post was taken're doin well with that one...
Andy Crooks
28 Posted 03/03/2015 at 18:54:12
David Barks , until I read your post I was laughing at the stuff , some of it removed, on this thread. Well done, good pertinent post.
Brent Stephens
29 Posted 03/03/2015 at 19:05:51
Good post, David.
Dave Abrahams
30 Posted 03/03/2015 at 19:07:25
With all due respect to Tim Howard if Tourette's is so stressful, should he be playing top class football.

I've always known about Howard's unfortunate illness but it doesn't make me any more sympathetic when he makes the most pathetic mistakes when playing for us.

Alan Peake
31 Posted 04/03/2015 at 16:33:07
So he gets so much pride watching his son try to emulate him – how can you have pride watching your son make so many bread and butter mistakes?

He is obviously spending too much time with Martinez as they have both turned Â’talking shiteÂ’ into an art form. Just to let you know, Tim, there are quite a lot of Evertonians looking forward to when you retire too.

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