018 From Professional Footballer to Alcoholism Consultant - Sport Performance Video By DAVID CHARLTON
Posted 11/30/2020 in Category 1 by DAVID CHARLTON

018 From Professional Footballer to Alcoholism Consultant

In this episode, former Sunderland and Ireland footballer Kieron Brady and David discuss the unique pressures of top flight professional football.  We also talk about Kieron’s retirement at 21 years old and the aftermath of the situation where Kieron admits to losing his way.  He discusses alcoholism and shares his inspiring story how he has turned his life around and has been sober since 2009.  Kieron also discusses how he has spent much of the last decade or so specialising in helping people to recover from alcoholism, initially voluntarily and now professionally for SP Bespoke which he is very proud of.  Tune in to listen to many nuggets of advice for young professional footballers on how to sustain a good and lasting career in the game. 


Demystifying Mental Toughness is for people who want to reach their goals faster and are curious what high performing athletes and professionals do to fulfil their potential. David Charlton shares insights, strategies and stories from leading athletes, coaches, psychologists and specialists to help you perform to your optimum level on a more consistent basis. If you’re a motivated athlete, coach, sport psychologist, mental game coach or executive listen in for proven and practical advice in this podcast. 


Kieron Brady is a former professional footballer who played for Sunderland AFC, debuting for the first team at 17 years old and, scoring in the English top flight as an 18 year old. He also played for the Republic of Ireland, where he once claimed a Man of the Match award when Zinedine Zidane was in the opposing side in a France v Ireland match. 


Sadly, he was forced to retire from professional football at 21 years old because of occluded arteries in his right leg which caused him extreme pain. In his short career, he averaged a goal or assist every 100 minutes. In this episode, Kieron and David discuss the pressures of professional football. How Kieron’s early retirement came about and the aftermath of the situation where Kieron admits to losing his way. He discusses alcoholism and shares his inspiring story how he has turned his life around now and has been sober since 2009. Kieron also discusses how he has spent much of the last decade or so specialising in helping people to recover from alcoholism, initially voluntarily and now professionally for SP Bespoke which he is very proud and passionate about. Tune in to listen to many nuggets of advice for young professional footballers on how to sustain a good and lasting career in the game. 


Essential Learning Points From This Episode 

• I look back on the 5 years as a young professional footballer in 2 ways, I’m appreciative of the opportunity and look back fondly, as well as feeling quite glad that my career ended. As early parts of my football career weren’t particularly enjoyable. 

• I have regrets about my conduct and feel like the football environment contributed to the way I behaved on occasions. 

• Attitudes in professional football were similar to what you get in military circles. 

• Professional footballers are human beings first before a footballer and that often is forgotten. 

• Players should be motivated on an individual basis. 

• I was forced to retire because the arteries in my right leg were occluded causing extreme pain and discomfort. Retirement at 21 was difficult to deal with and I didn’t cope very well with it. 

• I work professionally for SP Bespoke, who are a group of alcoholics who have been sober for over a decade each. We utilise our experiences to help alcoholics and problem drinkers and their families. 

• Successful people in their personal and professional life can feel immune to experiencing alcohol problems but “nobody is to dumb to recover from alcoholism but many people are too smart.” 

• One night I might be helping someone who doesn’t know where they are going to sleep that night and the next night it may be someone who is an expert in mental health. 

• Each footballer should take care of their own personal and professional development. 

• Cristiano Ronaldo is a great example of taking care of himself physically and mentally to be the best version of himself. He’s a phenomenon. 

• You should be aware of your rights as an employee when you’re a footballer, you have rights in your working environment in the way that you are treated. 

• Clubs have a duty of care with their players whether they are 16 years old or more experienced.


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