Click on the image to access this episode. Forming friendships has been proven to enhance our physical and mental health, and to significantly contribute to longer lives. In this episode, we look into one unique and very special instance of how the on-field connections made through playing soccer led to personal, off-field bonding.
Tyler Frisbie has long struggled with mental health issues such as depression. Yet, even after attempting suicide, he battled to honestly and openly discuss his pain. “Society has told us men, ‘You’re not allowed to be emotional. You’re not allowed to be vulnerable,’” he explains. This stigma and sense of shame threatened to continue the cycle of self-harm in Mr. Frisbie’s life.
Then came soccer. After finding that traditional counseling was not enough on its own to overcome his depression, Tyler looked to sports; his long-term passion which he had neglected for years. He began coaching soccer and found that re-entering the world of sport, along with continuing his therapy, was what he needed to finally and effectively tackle his mental health issues. Now as co-founder and active member of the soccer club Athletico Michigan, Mr. Frisbie enjoys not only the positive physical effects of sport but also the connections it provides with a network of people whose common interest has become the base for meaningful friendships.
One such friendship is with fellow Athletico Michigan co-founder, Daniel Fick. It’s been between two sets of soccer goals that Mr. Fick, a licensed therapist, has been able to observe the positive mental health transformations of several players. He credits the soccer club for giving members an outlet for their emotions as well as the opportunity to let go of life’s stresses while they focus on the pitch and, quite simply, have fun.
The story of the Athletico Michigan soccer club is proof that through talking, listening, and learning to trust each other, anyone can build a support team they can count on.