Footballer of the Year contender Conor Meyler has revisited “a really low point” in his career which helped turn his fortunes on, and off, the field around.
The Omagh St Enda’s clubman played a starring role in Tyrone’s march to a fourth All-Ireland SFC crown but, speaking to BBC’s The GAA Social, he recalled seeking professional help back in 2016 to help address the pressure he was putting himself under.
“I still had that chip on my shoulder, wanting to prove everybody wrong, had to out-train everybody and all the rest," he said about his first year on the county senior squad in 2015.
“I went straight into the starting team for the Championship and that chip on my shoulder was my downfall then, because I kept getting injured in 2016 and 2017.
“In 2016 I had a really low point. I kept pulling my hamstring, coming back too soon, trying to do too much, training every day twice a day. I thought this mindset would keep me going but it just broke me. Completely broke me.
“I remember breaking down crying at Garvaghey, just being like 'again. This is happening again,' Michael Harte the physio came out to console me, [I was] just in bits. I remember contacting the GP then and saying 'I need to talk to somebody'.”
The all-action middle third player hasn’t looked back since reaching out in terms of his personal, professional and sporting endeavours.
“It has been a big thing for me; personal development, growth in the last 12 months even.
“That authenticity and to be vulnerable, to trust and to talk has been transformative for me this year. Just allowing me to be braver, and more carefree and having more courage when I play.
“I'd be sitting studying video for hours and hours and doing all the extra training, and you built it up to be something nearly bigger than it is. When you strip it all back it's a game of football.”Tweet