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Sam Mewis & Therabody Tackle the Toll of Injuries

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
Sam Mewis knows first-hand how difficult the recovery process can be. She teamed up with Therabody to help ease the pain.

The ideal athlete-brand partnership benefits both sides — and not just in their respective checking accounts.

For United States Women’s National Team midfielder Sam Mewis, technology has always been at the forefront of her training and recovery efforts. For Dr. Jason Wersland, the mastermind behind Therabody, his business stems from enduring unbearable pain following an accident.

It’s only natural that the two would work together.

“After an accident that left me with debilitating pain, I was told the solutions were medication and surgery,” Wersland told Boardroom. “I had to find something else. For Therabody, technology continues to play a massive role in the business of recovery.”

This partnership hits close to home for Mewis, filling the void of tackling ongoing injuries effectively as she strives to compete at the highest level.

She has witnessed firsthand the toll that injuries can take. In November 2017, The midfielder and sibling of fellow USWNT star Kristie Mewis, suffered a devastating knee injury that left her sidelined for the beginning of the 2018 season. Since, it’s been an uphill battle. She likely won’t play in the 2023 NWSL season.

The 2019 World Cup winner and three-time NWSL champion shared a heartfelt statement on social media in January about the uncertain timeline of her comeback. However, Mewis has dedicated herself to a swift recovery with the unwavering support of her team, the Kansas City Current.

The statistics aren’t on Mewis’ or any of her teammates’ sides. Women are four-to six-times more likely than men to suffer ACL injuries. Furthermore, female athletes returning from these knee injuries have a 30% risk of further damaging their ACLs, making the rehab and recovery process seem endless.

Those stats aren’t widely known, and with more women than ever participating in athletics, Mewis and Therabody are working on educating the masses.

Coupled with input and experiences from athletes like Mewis, Angel City FC, the Dallas Mavericks, and DeVonta Smith, Therabody works to modify its products to manage athletes’ needs while continuing to educate consumers.

Mewis and Therabody continue to showcase products used to enhance the recovery process beyond the boundaries of limited medical staff provided by women’s soccer. Now, Mewis’ loyal fan base can witness firsthand the advantages of products like JetBoots or the RecoveryTherm Hot and Cold Vibration Knee. Both devices serve as Mewis’ preferred rehabilitation methods in recovery.

In an exclusive interview with Boardroom, Mewis discussed her involvement with the company, the future, and how they plan to create global change concerning women’s health.

Boardroom Q&A: Sam Mewis

RORY ROBINSON: First, how did you connect with the Therabody brand?

SAM MEWIS: Maddi [Mobley, Therabody director of sports partnerships], whom I know from attending school at UCLA, contacted me through my agency and inquired about working together. I was so excited. Not only to get to work with Therabody but also because I knew Maddi from school. So I was excited for both reasons.

RR: What were some specific women’s health issues you zoned in on with the partnership?

SM: I think, in general, in the women’s game, we have access to fewer resources than a typical men’s professional player. And so the idea that I would get this unique inside access to everything that Therabody was developing from the JetBoots, which is great, especially for me. I’ve been dealing with a knee injury for a little bit. And then all these new products that Therabody is also coming out with.

I think to have that inside access to get to use all of these tools and be taught how to use them. But then also to be able to share that with my teammates. Last year, Maddi sent a bunch of massage guns and JetBoots in Kansas City for my team to access and use. So I just felt it was such an incredible opportunity for me to access resources that aren’t always available to female players and share that access.

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RR: Speaking of developing new products, when we see high-profile athletes attached to a brand, a signature series/development usually follows. Has there ever been any collaboration ideas of adding your name to any of these signature products that you often use?

SM: Not yet. But that’s such an awesome idea. I use the JetBoots to flush everything up my body and out of my legs—also, the hot and cold contrasting Recovery Therm knee sleeve. Unfortunately, I’ve had this knee injury ongoing for a while now. But I feel like products like that are my bread and butter. I would love to be more involved with marketing for those, but that’s not something we’ve talked about yet.

RR: What impact do you hope to have with the collaboration? From recovery yourself to the general conversation around women’s health and wellness.

SM: I’ve been involved in developing the CBA with the US Women’s National team to identify what USA Soccer can provide. The NWSL has had similar discussions with the NSWL Players Association. As we identify and learn more about what we need as players, a company like Therabody could get involved. Maybe through sponsoring the league or being more involved team-to-team, to provide access to needed resources. With things like the CBA or in discussions with our ownership, whatever it may be.

Right now, women’s soccer is going through an ACL injury crisis. More and more women’s players suffer knee injuries, which is a shame and a long recovery. I fully trust that Therabody is a company exploring why that’s happening. Hopefully, developing technology to help us learn how to prevent it. I hope through our relationship and the actions I’ve taken in other areas of the game, we could make that a little bit more cohesive and spread the information and prevention technology as it gets identified.

RR: Through your research, what findings have you identified in the CBA that need focus?

SM: Our CBA with the national team includes rules and regulations around how many medical staff we need. What kinds of field surfaces that we’re playing on. How we’re flying and traveling and what class of travel. And I think all those things are either medical or lend themselves to recovery. And that’s something that I know Therabody focuses on themselves. So it feels like a good spot for a collaboration.

RR: What can other organizations learn from your approach on how you and Therabody tackle these needs together?

SM: Everybody’s committed to recovery and as an athlete, that’s important to me. And I would love to see other brands focus more on female athletes’ needs. I think there is certainly room for growth in that area. If what Therabody is doing can be an example, that would be great.

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