Strong Mental Health As An NRL Player – James Tedesco – headcoach | headspace

Made my debut for West Tigers in 2012 and
at 19 years of age was at Leichhardt as well on a Sunday arvo. I had all my friends
and family down to watch, but didn’t end too well. Sort of 30 minutes in hear
a pop in my knee and I sort of got carried off, and straightaway the doctor
told me that was an ACL. The following few years I sort of had another
season-ending injury. I had a few doubts that my body could make it through a
normal season or a few games. For me moving from the Tigers last year, coming over here there was a lot of negative backlash from fans. That first game
Roosters vs Tigers was obviously a lot of media about it. We sort of
read messages that they are only coming to boo me, and you know it does sort of play on
your mind when we have a lot of negativity towards you through boos or
through whatever that they’re saying at ya. It was hard for me I guess. We
didn’t win either which didn’t help sort of hard to cope with
really had that before. During the games where anything goes wrong or
something doesn’t go to plan, that’s sort of have deep breaths, and feel the grass
at the bottom of your feet, and fill yourself in the game and not
overthinking it. I did meet a mentor that I still speak to today, that was probably in 2015. I spoke to him every week that year, and I played every game
without any injuries. He was a guy sort of obviously physically I had to
look after my body, but mentally it just be good to talk doing get it off my
chest I guess, whereas if I was a young kid I sort of wouldn’t talk to anyone
and I just sort of bottled it up. People think if they have any problems that
drinking I will sort of make it go away but definitely not the answer, it just
makes you feel worse about yourself. Whenever I go out have a few drinks, I
don’t think there is any shame and being in a pub and having a water. Especially if
you’re comfortable around your mates or your close friends, yeah I can still have
a good time at the pub without drinking. Key thing for me was to stay positive,
and being around positive friends and family, you know that are there to
sort of bring you up and have a laugh with and relax with. It’s about having those close people with you know will listen to you and care for you and
they know that if they have any problems I’ll do the same for you.

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