England's Karen Carney believes that talking about mental health in sports is crucial

England's Karen Carney believes that talking about mental health in sports is crucial ...

Karen Carney, one of the most well-known English players in women's football history, believes in staying fit during her day to day run. She repeats this over zoom, fresh from her daily run.

Carney was named captain of Chelsea Ladies FC after winning the FA Young Player award for the second year in a row in 2006.

The former England captain has since stepped back into broadcasting, and recently signed a deal with ITV to broadcast the world's biggest football championships.

When the opportunity presented itself, I just went for it. At the time, I was essentially doing football punditry at home on the sofa, so to be able to analyze these major events with a large audience has been a total blessing, she says.

Carney reminisces about her football career, reveals some of her greatest sporting influences, and shares her thoughts on the current Women's England team.

The level of this years competition is exceptional, not just the game, but the whole atmosphere. It's been inclusive, diverse, and shone a light on high quality women's football. The England team as a whole has been incredible. They absolutely have a shot at winning the trophy [laughs]. Millie Bright is one of Europe's best centre backs.

My first England cap and playing at my first major tournament, which was the Womens Euros 2005, was a great experience for me. I also played for the Womens Arsenal team. These are just some of the advantages of my career.

The greatest challenge for me has been dealing with my mental health. It has definitely weighed me down at certain points in my career. I have been open about this in the past because I believe it is extremely important to talk about mental health, especially in sport, when you have a platform like mine. I hope that others will see me discussing my difficulties or learn from them.

Ive noticed that the pain is common among athletes who are raised in a structured environment with training schedules and diet plans. This is why I developed a female football training program, The Second Half, that assists footballers as they transition to life off the field.

My family is my greatest inspiration. My dad has been a firefighter for 30 years, and my mom has worked at Sainsburys for 30 years. They are both dedicated, hard-working individuals who have instilled that spirit in me. They are my heroes.

In a sporting context, I'd have to mention Rachel Yankee and Kelly Smith in the world of football. Outside of my sport, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Serena Williams.

The people who need more recognition in football are the ones who run the team. This is due to the hardworking people who are negotiating sponsorship, marketing, and broadcasting contracts. They may not be on the field, but without them, the players and the sport will not get the recognition they deserve.

I prepare by doing as much research as possible into the subject I am covering beforehand. It just makes me feel more confident and comfortable with what I am doing. That tendency is probably something I picked up while playing football. Football was all about preparation and effort. So, I guess I transferred those skills to broadcasting.

I would encourage young women to take part in as much of their sport as possible. Listen to your role models in sport and take the time to yourself. Id also encourage you to enjoy it and have fun.

I want to see women's football become more mainstream and get more attention, but I guess that's up to the media and broadcasters. As with every sport, I want to see women's football become more inclusive and diverse, reaching as many people as possible.

Im a total homebody, so I prefer to stay in to relax. I also enjoy going to the library, or going to the movies with friends. Im quite simple in that sense.

You may also like: