A move to play in Super League can be a gargantuan challenge but with the help of State of Mind, Huddersfield half-back Ryan Brierley has learned to embrace the step-up.
“With the Super League I think it’s more relentless. If you make a mistake, the opposition are so ruthless,” Brierley told Love Rugby League.
“The concentrations levels are certainly different. Not having five minutes rest between plays has a big impact.
The 24-year-old admits the pressure of moving to a side in the top division was difficult at first but things have got better as time has gone on.
“It was a tough transition when I first signed for Huddersfield. You see these super starts play week in, week out.
“It is certainly daunting for any player regardless of age.
“The media aspect was something I really struggled with at first.
“The stuff from fans was hard to deal with but it’s all part of my learning curve and I pride myself on being professional.”
Brierley also spoke about how injuries or a bad run of form can have a serious effect on a player’s mental health.
“It is the most difficult time of your career,” he said.
“As a player you want to be at your peak every week so of course it plays on your mind a little when you are in and out of the team.
“I like to surround myself with good honest people. I have a close group of friends which really help me to stay positive whenever I am faced with challenges in my career.
“Some players have a tough time dealing with situations mentally.
“They should be encouraged to actively seek advice from charities like State of Mind.
“They do a fabulous job and all sorts of sportspeople I speak to have all said the same thing.”