Tyrone Mings has revealed that his mental health ‘plummeted’ in the build up to Euro 2020, leading him to seek help from a psychologist.
The England defender said the pressure of being one of the only players in the squad without Champions League or international tournament experience became overwhelming as the opening game against Croatia approached, with Mings all too aware of the questions surrounding his place on the team-sheet.
‘I was probably the only name on the team-sheet that people thought, ‘Not sure about him’. And that was something I had to overcome,’ he said, adding, ‘When 90-95% of your country are having doubts over you, it’s very difficult to stop this intruding on your own thoughts.’
The Aston Villa defender was called upon to replace Harry Maguire for England’s opening two matches, as the Manchester United captain raced to recover from an ankle injury, and Mings has now revealed that blocking out the noise when it came to his involvement proved an impossible task.
‘I did have a tough time in the lead-up to the opening game against Croatia,’ Mings told The Sun. ‘I think I’m a lot more hardened to outside influences now, but my mental health did plummet. And I have no shame in admitting that because there were so many unknowns about me going to that game.’
In an effort to control his emotions, Mings said he sought help from a psychologist to learn ‘coping mechanisms’ that would ‘stop letting your subconscious take over,’ but admitted ‘it was hard. I didn’t really sleep very well before that first game.’
Speaking following Simone Biles’ decision to be open about the pressure of performing at the Olympics, Mings said he believed that attitudes towards athletes’ mental health were shifting, saying, ‘We have seen with Simone Biles you can speak on how you are feeling and hopefully feel supported by many people.’
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