SOUTH BEND – Howard Cross III is having a breakout season on the Notre Dame defense line, but there are times even Fourth year juniors Pause during the daily mental health checks that all Irish footballers must complete.
It is simply (asking): ‘Are you nervous? Cross said: From one to five. “If you are good, you are not stressed at all. If, I don’t know, you have a lot of studying in school and football is stressing you out, you are very stressed.”
A talented young player who says he “constantly doubts himself, constantly doesn’t think he can,” the namesake son of the former Super Bowl champion spends three or four hours every night on his academy. This comes after a full day of lessons, practice, and film studies.
“After my workout, I go home and spend an hour in (football) or more if I know I need help,” Cross said. “Then the rest is some projects or studies, and God knows what’s next.”
Notre Dame’s farewell week didn’t include much of a break from football, interim itinerary coach Marcus Freeman said publicly, but Kroos also had an accounting exam and a design project for the commute.
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as such World Mental Health Day The Irish players on October 10th approach the start of the match 0-2 realizing more than ever the importance of maintaining this aspect of their wellbeing. Under the guidance of Matt Pallis, Notre Dame’s director of football performance since early 2017, much more than the physical workload is taken when it comes to player preparation and ability.
The mental health portion of the daily intake of Balis and the crew he collects has been improved and refined even since Freeman was promoted to replace Brian Kelly 10 months ago.
“They focus a lot on that,” Cross said. “They want to make sure we’re okay because we’re training hard. Everyone can see that. We’re working really hard, but they wanted to make sure they’re doing it carefully. They want to know what our limits are and how far we can go. They want to make sure we’re good.”
Senior safety graduate Houston Griffith, who is also the son of the Super Bowl champion, has seen progress since arriving in early 2018.
“Coach Ballys is great,” said Griffiths. “When I first got here, it was one of the focal points of turning the program into the culture. It is always on our shoulders to make sure that you are mentally present and when you walk into the building you have the right dominant mindset to attack the elevators or to attack the drills.”
For a program that closely tracks every aspect of a player’s health, including sleep patterns and eating habits, it would be reckless to overlook the “mental health part,” as Griffiths called it.
“It’s a big thing,” Griffiths said. “It’s the reality of the situation. They are finding ways for us here in Notre Dame to be able to talk to people about mental health.”
Removing the stigma of mental health
Through NIL’s recent partnership with PlayBooked, a Grand Rapids, a Michigan-based company Also working with athletes in Michigan, Michigan State, California and Florida, Golden Touch has enlisted the help of Irish soccer captain Avery Davis, women’s basketball wrestler Dara Mabry and members of the National Champion Duel Program in his quest to… Expand mental health resources For college athletes.
The daughter of former Notre Dame basketball coach Richard “Diger” Phelps has raised more than $25 million since 2000 for the Charities such as Camp Irene and Camp Mariposa; The Eluna شبكة network (formerly the Moyer Foundation) and others in the areas of suicide and addiction prevention and grief counseling.
Along with ex-husband Jimmy Muir, winning 269 games in 25 major league baseball seasons, Karen Phelps also raised eight children, six of whom played college sports.
That includes a rookie baseball player in Oregon and a freshman at track and field at High Point University in North Carolina, so Phelps has first-hand knowledge of the self-imposed pressures and otherwise that this generation of college athletes must face.
“They are all different personalities, they grew up in a home where their father was a professional athlete,” Phelps said in a phone interview. “I grew up in sports. Even just by looking at it you can see how you have to meet every kid wherever they are. Some are okay to talk about. Some are affected by others sharing their story.”
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With input from her parents, Karen Phelps launched an organization that seeks to increase off-campus resources and outreach programs for college athletes who need help or simply want to connect with others who do.
“After that, they don’t feel lonely and isolated,” Phelps said. “It normalizes it for them. Then that starts their step, which they may have been a little behind, but they are inspired by hearing other stories. That’s exactly what we hope to do at Golden Minds: open up the conversation and give them a place where it’s safe to have an open mind.”
Despite great strides in the areas of mental health awareness and positive training, there is still much work to be done. In the NCAA’s latest A well-being survey of more than 9,800 college athletes Across all levels, 38% of women working in sports reported feeling very tired while about 47% of respondents overall said they felt comfortable seeking support from a mental health provider on campus.
“Stigma is a national issue, whether it’s a student-athlete, a neighbor, or someone in a big company,” Phelps said. We know that students in general do not feel safe. They can tell you why they don’t feel safe, and we can guess why they don’t feel safe, but to me they should feel safe. It’s no different from whether they’ve been diagnosed with cancer or something else.”
Dealing with the fallout from COVID-19 as well as public criticism via social media has added layers of complexity to the national challenge of maintaining the mental health of young athletes, including those in Notre Dame and across the street in St Mary’s.
“You are in a high-ranking university, one of the best in the country, your academics are important, your social life is important,” Phelps said. “It’s a lot for these kids. The extra support is something that I hope they can count on. It’s OK to not be OK ‘is that mantra that should be there for these kids.”
You are not weak
Four games into his career at Notre Dame, Brandon Joseph is still looking for his first interception.
After Punt has returned to his full workload while publicly eyeing the NFL draft next spring, the daredevil safety from Texans says he welcomes the extra pressure. Still getting to know his new teammates, Joseph wears an important reminder on his wrist: a purple and white “Hilinski’s Hope” rubber bracelet.
Northwestern quarterback Ryan Hilinski and his family established the foundation to honor the memory of older brother Tyler Hilinski, the former Washington State quarterback who committed suicide in January of 2018. Tyler Hilinski was 21 years old.
“They started a foundation to raise awareness about mental health, about being vulnerable about your struggles, to emphasize how important that is,” Joseph said. “You are not weak if you talk about it. You are strong when you talk about it. I wear this (bracelet) every day just to remind myself that I want to stay mentally conscious. I want to always be strong in my mental health. Mental health has become so important to me Mine “.
Irish defensive coordinator Al Golden, who has led college programs in Temple and Miami and spent the previous six seasons as an assistant in the NFL, appreciates the daily focus on mental health that Ballis is leading.
“This is important,” Golden said. “We all say they’re amateurs and all that, and I know it’s a different era, but they’re still going to school. They’re still in the community. They still have girlfriends and everything that’s going on in their lives, school and so on. It’s really important that they have an outlet and feel like we’re there. for them and that we care about the whole person.”
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It takes just two minutes or so to complete a mental health survey, said Tariq Brassey, a fifth-year senior officer, who has been no stranger to crowd criticism during his volatile Irish career. However, he clearly recognizes his value in keeping his spirits high while playing such a high-profile position in a program that recently dropped out of the national rankings for the first time in five years.
“I’ve thought a lot about that,” Prause said. “It’s very important. (The coaches) need to know how you feel and how much rest they need, just because it’s a long season, you know?”
Even for a player like Kroos, whose outgoing personality usually raises his center space, there have been times when his teammates have felt compelled to check his safety.
“My head really hurt,” Cross said. “I hold myself very high. I’m going to have a really good practice as some people think this was great practice, but I’m going to see the three plays that I didn’t do and I’ll be like, ‘Dang.'”
Kroos paused and shook his head at the memory.
“It got a lot better,” he said, “to where it had never happened or hadn’t happened in a long time,” but it was so bad. People used to say, “Okay, you’re fine. You’re fine.”
Cross does not deal with such an exchange or feel alone. Instead, he knows he’s a vital part of a roster of 120 players helping each other get through a year-long college football experience.
“In our culture, we’re here for everyone, no matter what,” Cross said. “It was always like this, but Coach Freeman really emphasized, ‘If you see something, help someone. “If someone is frustrated or someone is not doing well or someone is not doing well, and you see that, you better go see what’s up.”
Follow Notre Dame football writer Mike Berardino on Twitter @MikeBerardino and @TikTokmikeberardinoNDI.