Dr. Michael Okun & Dr. Oliver Sacks talk about Tourette Syndrome & Tim Howard’s World Cup performance

Tim Howard’s record performance as goalie for the US team in the World Cup match against Belgium has garnered a lot of attention. Some was quite funny like his name temporarily being listed on the US Secretary of Defense page on Wikipedia. But some has focused on his experience with Tourette Syndrome which started in sixth grade and continues today. Given that record performance and an interview Howard did with Der Spiegel last year about his Tourette’s and soccer, The Daily Beast talked to our own Dr. Michael Okun and Dr. Oliver Sacks from NYU School of Medicine about whether Tourette’s might actually be a benefit to Howard on the field.

We encourage you to check out the whole article. Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Okun:

Okun has found that other aspects of Tourette’s can prove highly beneficial in a wide range of endeavors. He noted that people with the condition often have obsessive-compulsive tendencies. They repeat tasks over and over with a ritualistic and often perfectionist bent.

“Obsessive-compulsive tendencies really help to enhance abilities,” Okun said. “In chess, piano, or when they’re playing goalie for the World Cup team.”

About the Author


Charles Jacobson

Chuck Jacobson maintains the UFMDC Research and Clinical database called INFORM.

Read all articles by Charles Jacobson