Where Are They Now? – Connor Staine

With my dad, mom and stepdad, the day I signed with the Rockies.

Hi. My name is Connor Staine. I originally became involved with NJCTS through my dad. Once I was diagnosed (age 10) we became aware of NJCTS and their services. He’s told me over the years that knowing there was a local organization that served the TS community was really important in how he learned to deal with some of the challenges associated with raising a child with TS. Knowing you’re not alone, he said, was critically important. One of the things we also did, over the years, was to try and give back where we could to NJCTS. My dad organized multiple fundraiser events, mostly in the form of participating in local triathlons, mud runs and 5Ks to raise funds. And as I look back on it, I think it was as helpful to him as it was for NJCTS. TS can be frustrating at times, not only for those of us who have it but to our families as well. It was good for him and my family to have an avenue to try and help in some way.

Fast forward to high school, and I started to find my own compass….playing baseball. It gave me and my brain other things to focus on instead of just my most recent tics and it helped immensely with my self-confidence. I earned a scholarship to the University of Maryland where I was a Communications major and a pitcher for the Terps. I  transferred to the University of Central Florida for my junior year where I maintained a 3.0 GPA and was also named 1st Team All-Conference by the end of my baseball season.  It was a really good year, and one which culminated in being selected in the 5th round of the 2022 MLB Draft, by the Colorado Rockies. I was a starting pitcher for their Class A affiliate, the Fresno Grizzlies, last year, and currently I am starting my second full season in their minor league system with hopes of making it to Denver sometime in the near future.

My family: Stepmom, stepdad, mom, step brothers, me and my dad.

At 23 years old I am still symptomatic. It’s been one of the constants in my life. I’ve learned over the years however that along with my family, my TS has been one of my greatest strengths. NJCTS, and the clinicians they referred me and my family to, helped me navigate some pretty difficult times and I know I have come out more informed, and better prepared for life because of it. Learning how to navigate my condition was a big step, but understanding that if my tics were “bothering” someone, that it wasn’t my issue, it was theirs, was even bigger. TS has taught me a lot. It has shown me what I can deal with, what adversity really is, and given me insights about perspective that I don’t think I would have known otherwise. 

Speaking to my dad’s class about TS Awareness 2023.

My dad, who has been a teacher and coach his whole life, always stressed the importance of education. Formal education and educating people about TS as well. When I do return to NJ I make it a point to stop by his classroom and have a Q&A with his students about TS to help spread awareness and clarify some of the misconceptions that are still out there. I do so with my professional  teammates as well and what I’ve found over the years is that knowledge and communication of that knowledge really is power. NJCTS is a huge part of that power supply in New Jersey and I really appreciate what they’ve done and continue to do for the TS community.

A combination fundraiser in 2011 for Cancer Research and NJCTS.

Chase Your Dreams & Stay Relentless,

Connor Staine

IG @connorstaine

USA Today TS Article
Denver Gazette TS Article

To celebrate 20 years of NJCTS we will be showcasing 20 stories of adults with TS who were once involved in the organization and now all grown up! Stay tuned as we share all of these incredible and successful stories!