I was first introduced to Cade and his mother Christine Pinalto by one of my former guests, Dr. Robert Huggins from episode 41. It didn’t take much research on my end to realize that I needed to get these two on the show to highlight Cade’s story (video below) and the amazing work he and Christine are doing for permanently injured athletes through their non-profit, Sidelined USA. Sidelined USA’s mission is to reunite permanently-sidelined athletes with their passions and inspire them to find a meaningful way forward. The inspiration behind this organization came after Cade’s diagnosis of a heart condition, which crushed his dreams of being an elite basketball player when he was only 12 years old. It was amazing to get both athlete and parent perspectives on the grieving process after getting the news that no athlete ever wants to hear, yet so many unfortunately do. I was most impressed with Cade’s maturity for such a young man and I am sure that trait was greatly influenced by his mother.
Below you find talking points that Cade, Christine and I touch on throughout this interview:
“I don’t know who I am anymore because I can’t play basketball.”
What led up to the diagnosis that ended Cade’s basketball career.
How Cade was able to get past the depression and anger that ensued after his diagnosis.
Christine’s perspective on Cade’s grieving process.
“I wanted it to be me. I wanted my dreams to be killed, but don’t tell my kid that he cant pursue his dreams.”
How parents can help their kids say goodbye to their dreams in these unfortunate situations.
How Cade deals with “not being able to go all out” when he plays now.
How Cade has adapted his exercise to his heart condition.
The hobbies Cade picked up during his transition to life after being a basketball player.
Assessing risk while still living your life.
The importance of honoring your child’s pain during this process and why you should avoid silver lining comments.
“It hurts deeper than you know, and hurts longer than you think.”
Ways to approach your child during the grieving process.
Why it’s normal to feel down at the start of your sport’s season.
How Coaching helped Cade in his transition to life after basketball as a player.
“Although I can’t play basketball again, it doesn’t mean that my passion for basketball has to die.”
Alternate avenues sidelined athletes can pursue in sports and how Sidelined USA can help.
Coaching, Photography, Journalism and Athletic Training
The benefits of allowing yourself to be vulnerable.
The importance of building a healthy identity early on in an athlete’s career.