The Podcast

Surviving A Career-Ending Injury with Bella Heidenreich

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Welcome to Season 8, Episode 41 of the ParentingAces Podcast! In this week’s show, I chat with Bella Heidenreich, a former Division I college tennis player who experienced a career-ending injury during her first semester at James Madison University.

Note: There are a few 4-letter words in this week’s episode which I chose to leave in, so please use care when sharing with young children.

Any time a young athlete is side-lined due to injury, it is emotionally stressful on top of being physically painful. When the injured athlete falls under the jurisdiction of a college coach and trainer, there are additional factors that may come into play. 

Bella went through a series of challenges and obstacles while trying to recover from a fluke foot injury that happened her first month in college. Being far away from home, she dealt with the incident in the best way she knew how and shares that experience with us this week. 

My conversation with Bella is the first in an effort to bring Truth to Tennis. We often try to sugar-coat the Junior Development Process and College Recruiting in hopes of keeping players and their families invested in the sport long-term. However, as I learned through my own journey with my son, things aren’t always as they seem on the surface. Bella’s story isn’t unusual. The way her injury was handled by the JMU athletic trainer and coach isn’t unusual. It is crucial that parents understand what can happen when their child leaves home to play College Tennis and are armed with information if their child becomes injured. My hope is that this episode with Bella leads you to ask more questions during the Recruiting Process and leads your player to become a good self-advocate once he/she is on campus.

As always, a big thank you to Morgan Stone, aka STØNE, for our intro and outro music this season. You can find more of his music at If you’re interested in House Music, please be sure to check out his social media channels on FacebookTwitterInstagram

If you’re so inclined, please share this – and all our episodes! – with your tennis community. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or via the ParentingAces website. If you haven’t already, be sure to become a Member of ParentingAces – we have 4 options for you – by clicking here.

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