Joining the National Football League is a lifelong dream for many in the 2023 draft class. Doing so comes with challenges, not just physically, but mentally as well.
“For a lot of players, they’re in a new team the next day and they’re practicing a week after they’re drafted,” said Mike Wylie, the Bears’ director of mental skills and performance, who joined the team full-time. rice field. “You don’t have a lot of time to find a place to live, get used to a new environment, and learn a little bit about what the future holds.”
The focus of Wiley’s work is on players’ mental health, similar to that of Bears wellness director Carla Suber, who joined the team full-time in 2020.
“They have a typical daily life like we do,” Suber said. “They just do what they do in front of the camera and it gets reported.”
The NFL is required to have a clinician like Suber, but there are only six such doctors on full-time staff in the league, Suber said. But that is slowly changing.
“I think coaches, GMs, player personnel staff, scouts are all starting to realize that mind is an important part of performance,” Wiley said. “It’s an integral part of performance.”
It is especially important during special times in everyone’s life.
“We have come out of the pandemic and all the social injustice we have witnessed,” Suber added. ”[It was] As a group we all went through the same thing and it just resonated with us in a different way that brought to the forefront how we not only care for each other but ourselves. I think ”
That’s their focus, to support players whether they’re new to the league or veterans of the team.
“The mind is essentially a gateway to the best of your talents,” says Wiley.