Former Wolverhampton Wanderers defender Mark Kennedy has opened up on how he had to turn to psychology after he wanted to quit football during his stint at the club which he expressed as daunting.
Kennedy who is currently a U23 caretaker coach at Wolves played for the side between 2001 and 2006 and has revealed he couldn't be happier to be back at the club doing what he loves best.
The 44-year-old is fondly remembered for a scoring a screamer that inspired Wolves to Premier League promotion after they secured a 3-0 victory over Sheffield United back in 2003 - he revealed that the moment was one of this career highlights.
According to Kennedy, Dr Tim O'Brien was the psychologist who saved him from himself after he started hating football and was considering not playing any more and was overwhelmed with depression for a period of time.
The Irishman who was signed by Dave Jones at the time from Manchester City revealed that O'Brien helped him read every game he played and also motivated him to handle the pressure better - it was all in aid to help him get back to the loving the game.
“I remember being a player myself at Wolves when I hated football,” he said.
“I was playing in the Premier League, I was on lots of money, I was a good player in a good team, and I didn’t want to come in and train every day.
“You see the big clock on the stand? (South Bank) I used to come out and split the game up into 15-minute sections. At three ‘o’clock I thought ‘Can I get to quarter past three?’
“I used to go into the toilet and read notes and they’d get me going. The only problem is after two games the notes don’t work anymore because you’ve read them before! So you need new notes.”
Kennedy who is now coaching youngsters has grown to understand the importance of mental health as a player and admitted that he hopes what he learned in his career will inspire young footballers to seek help when the game becomes daunting for them - he firmly believes in dealing with underlying issues in order to not kill one's passion.
“I don’t know Wayne Rooney but I bet when he was 18 he’d have walked onto that pitch and thought, ‘I’m the man, and now I’m going to show you I’m the man’,” he reflected.
“That is not a personality a lot of young kids have. I’ve got three lovely young kids.
“My eldest will be eight next month and he’s a very shy and sensitive boy. As he grows hopefully he’ll learn with different experiences.
“All we can do is help. We (Wolves U23s) have a really lovely psychologist who works with us. I think it’s a huge part of modern-day football now.
“Equally as important as the tactical side, your in-possession coach, your out-of-possession coach, psychology is a huge part.
“I’m a huge, huge advocate. It can really add so much to your game.
“It’s like anything in life – whatever you do, everyone needs a little bit of help.”
**Source: Wolves Bite