13-year-old aspiring sportscaster interviews soccer star Tim Howard about similar experiences with Tourette Syndrome

Published: Aug. 8, 2020 at 1:04 AM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) -13-year-old Eldridge native Noah Schklicksup has tourette’s syndrome, but most of the time you wouldn’t know it.

“It’s a lot more common than you’d think and so I’d like people to be more aware of that and aware that we can’t control these things and we don’t like doing them at all” said Schlicksup.

Noah was teased at school for his tics but sportscasting helped him find strength. “I’ve learned a lot about myself, I’ve learned I have this new confidence in myself”. To chase his dream, Noah has been interviewing professional athletes and sportscasters on his YouTube channel.

Last week, he got to interview one of his biggest heroes, American soccer star Tim Howard. “I’ve always wanted to talk to him for like three years”. Howard is one of the greatest American goalkeepers of all time. Just like Noah,  Howard has tourette syndrome. Through a family friend who works for the Chicago Fire, Noah’s parents landed him an interview with Tim.

“It’s really cool to talk to you and see how much ambition you have” said Howard as he greeted Noah for the interview on Zoom. Noah was more than prepared for his interview. “I think I had 26 questions for him so over the course of a week I had you know stocked up on my Tim Howard knowledge”.

Early in the interview, Noah asked Howard what advice he would you give to people with tourette’s watching the interview? “I found a good way about ten years ago and I said I’m having a bad day, I’m having a very difficult time with my tics today you know what I’m going in my room, I’m going in my office, I’m gonna sit on my couch and I’m gonna take some time for Tim and everything else everything else for this hour or two hours or day is gonna take a backseat” said Howard.

Just like tourette syndrome won’t hold Noah back from sportscasting, it’s never stopped Howard from thriving on the soccer pitch. “With my tics and with how I felt the one thing I’ve always noticed is when I cross the line and the lights come on and the whistle blows I am so uber focused it’s like I could tic and twitch and cough and clear my throat it’s like, it’s almost like it’s not even happening” said Howard.

“People with tourette’s there’s always that downside but there’s usually a flip side to it, you have this one very special talent like for Tim it’s goal keeping” said Schlicksup.

“There’s a I call it like a magical power right, there’s science behind it but it’s our magical power it’s like where we feel one thing having TS is kind of like you know it’s almost like a problem, there’s somewhere else in our world, gaming, swiming, concentrating, art, piano, soccer, whatever it is, there’s a level where we excel beyond” said Howard.

A disorder that once brought Noah a great deal of sorrow is now part of what makes him so strong.

“Just don’t give up, don’t runaway, accept this is who you are. If people don’t accept you for it then just find these people who do and those are the people who really matter in life and are your true friends” said Schlicksup.

“I say all the time I want to be a voice for the voiceless and until someone has enough tools and knowledge to advocate for themselves, I want to keep banging on that drum and let people know what TS is and try to inspire others” said Howard.

You can view Noah’s entire interview with Tim Howard at Schlick Sports.

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

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