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Scott Mitchell: Being Afraid To Show Weakness Is ‘Biggest Joke In The World’

28 Sep 1997: Quarterback Scott Mitchell #19 of the Detroit Lions during the Lions 26-15 win over the Green Bay Packers at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan. (Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport / Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former NFL quarterback and KSL Unrivaled co-host Scott Mitchell said that being afraid to show weakness is the “biggest joke in the world” when it comes to mental health.

Mitchell recently joined Kyle Ireland on the Yards After College Podcast to discuss mental health and #HealthyMindMatters.

“I did grow up in a culture where you never showed weakness,” Mitchell said. “You were afraid to show weakness. So injury, anything, any kind of emotional, mental issues, it was like you tuck them back in a corner and you press forward.”

The former Utah and NFL QB said that he was lucky enough to find out later in his life that nothing could be farther from the truth.

“Fortunately, later on in life, I found that that was the biggest joke in the world. Showing that you’re vulnerable and being willing to be vulnerable is how you improve and how you improve your mental health, how you improve your physical health, how you improve period” Mitchell said. “I actually did meet with a psychologist when I played. There were things that I instinctively just learned that were really good and really healthy things. Your mind when you play football is about 100 percent of it. It really is. It’s such a mind game and and being able to manage your thought process, being able to manage your brain, and realizing that it was such a critical part of any success you had on the field was paramount.”

 

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Mitchell continued by saying that his co-host on KSL Unrivaled, Alex Kirry, recently asked him if he could go back and tell himself one thing as a player, “what would you say?”

“It was really kind of an easy answer for me,” Mitchell told Ireland. “This is entertainment. This is fun. This isn’t life or death and we make it out to be that way. I know when I played I was like, ‘This is the most important thing going on in the entire world.’ Because I was so consumed by that world and I would tell myself simply, ‘Enjoy this more. Have more fun and don’t take yourself so seriously about all of this.’ A lot of when I was overwhelmed by the pressure of all of it was when I was taking it too seriously and I didn’t give myself an opportunity to smell the roses per se, to laugh a little bit, and to just kind of let my personality out more. I was pretty buttoned up when I played. I wish that I was played a little bit more carefree.”

You can listen to the entire conversation with Scott Mitchell on the Yards After College Podcast.

Join KSL Sports during the month of November as we put a special focus on mental health. We will have stories from athletes, tips from experts and more. For more information on protecting your mental health visit the Healthy Mind Matters page on ksltv.com.

If you or someone you know needs help, it’s always available at 300-273-8255 or here online with the Suicide Prevention Lifeline.


Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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