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Tyrone Mings has opened up about his struggles with his mental health during Euro 2020, and revealed that he saw a psychologist during the tournament.
Mings was a member of Gareth Southgate's squad earlier this summer, as England reached their first final in a major tournament for 55 years.
The Aston Villa defender's ability was questioned ahead of the Euros, especially following his performance in the warm up game against Austria, as he was set to start in the opening games due to Harry Maguire's injury.
England kept two clean sheets with Mings alongside John Stones, against Croatia and Scotland, with the Villa man performing extremely well, before Maguire returned for the final group game.
Those question before the games about his ability, led to some mental health issues for Mings.
"I did have a tough time in the lead-up to the opening game against Croatia," the 28-year-old 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 was so many unknowns about me going to that game.
"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.
"When 90-95 per cent of your country are having doubts over you, it's very difficult to stop this intruding on your own thoughts.
"So I did a lot of work on that with my psychologist. I was given a lot of coping mechanisms - whether it was breathing, meditation, or just learning how to bring yourself into the present moment. To stop letting your subconscious take over.
"It was hard. I didn't really sleep very well before that first game."
As well as his performances in the first two group games, the former Ipswich Town defender was lauded for his criticism of Priti Patel after players were racially abused on social media following the final.
Mings is the latest high profile athlete to speak openly about their mental health recently, with Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka and Ben Stokes all focusing on the issue.
It's important that athletes have been speaking about the subject and further normalising it and ending the stigma around mental health.
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