Thanks to therapy started during her team-mandated 30-day suspension from soccer, Hope Solo now says she has a better grasp on her anger issues and better tools to cope with her struggles.
The star goalkeeper for the U.S. Women's National Team wrote a blog post on her personal website titled, "A Promising Start," that details her struggles and growth since she and her husband, Jerramy Stevens, were pulled over by police while driving a team vehicle.
Stevens, who was behind the wheel, was booked for a DUI, while police reports detailed Solo's rude comments and threats slung at police officers.
Solo describes how, after rejoining the team following a 30-day suspension, she emailed her teammates to discuss how she had handled that time off, as well as to apologize for her behavior.
"I told them that for the first time in my life, I'd been seeing a therapist and dealing with a lot of my issues, and finally addressing all the pain and anger that was inside of me," Solo writes. "Twice a week, I also worked with an Eastern medicine healer in Seattle who had incredible experience helping some of the greatest athletes perform at the highest levels. He really helped me see things in a different light.
"I wanted them to know that I hadn’t just taken 30 days off. Ultimately, I wanted to be a better person and teammate, and that’s what I’d been focused on."
She also acknowledged the change and adjustments the entire team was facing, as well as Solo herself. A new coach, new teammates and new outside pressures to perform were taking a toll on the team. Solo said that this, combined with her own personal strife that included a court case for a domestic violence charge, had her spending many nights in tears before her suspension.
Upon returning, she vowed to help the team reach its goals and win a World Cup this summer -- no matter the adversity or the challenges. Her teammates were on board.
"I think it was something that needed to be said, and it was awesome to see everybody’s responses back," Solo writes. "Some were a little bit more sentimental about it, and other people were like, 'Hell yeah, let’s do this.'"