Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Life after Football

Judging by the response my previous post has gotten it is very clear that the problems I had as a player were not unusual, and that talking about them has been worth my while. The amount of well-wishers, messages of support and the general attention it received shows that this is something that needs talked about more openly by anyone who is having their own troubles.
I have been left with a sense of relief having finally managed to speak out and I really wish I felt able to years ago. One of the big bonuses to come from it has been the messages from former teammates and other professionals who say they have felt similar problems in their careers, and that has made me feel slightly better knowing I was not alone.

I also think it is important that if other players feel they need someone to talk to they know they can. The PFA in Scotland is doing a lot for mental health awareness, and they have people you can talk to anonymously if there is anything you need to talk about. It has been really good to talk to other players that have come to me, and I'd happily chat with anyone that is scared to talk or just wants to chat about similar problems.

It has genuinely touched me the amount of people texting me and wishing me the best, and now it is important for me to move on with my development personally and try to start a new career in something else. Football has been and always will be a huge part of my life and something I love watching and talking about. I have always been interested in analysing games, tactics and performances which is probably part of the problems I had in myself. Constantly analysing my own and others performances probably created doubt and caused a lack of self belief, now I think I can turn that trait into a positive and use it to stay involved in the sport.

Writing has definitely made me realise I should be doing it more often and that is something I want to pursue. Coaching is another thing I should have started a few years ago, but at 31 I still have time, and an opportunity in Norway to start doing it would be ideal. The amount of players doing coaching badges these days is incredible and it is such a competitive environment, but everyone is different and has different experiences that has shaped them so it's something I'd like to start.

Thank you to everyone that got in touch with me in the last 2-3 weeks, it has meant a lot and made it all worthwhile.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    we were in touch with you a couple of months agoabout producing a documentary. We worked closely with the Chris Mitchell Foundation to shine a light on mental health problems within Scottish football. Because it's mental health awareness week, we thought we'd share the first cut with you. We'd love to hear what you think.


    Please let us know.

    Many thanks,

    Eva Prikler