Maddinson opens up on mental demons
Victoria batsman Nic Maddinson has opened up about the mental demons that saw him take a break from cricket two years ago.
The 27-year-old appeared to be at the top of his game, having played all three of his Test matches to date in 2016, but walked away from the sport only a couple of months later citing personal reasons.
He was one of the first cricketers to ask for help and admit he needed a break, paving the way for others to follow suit.
In a candid interview with Fox Cricket, Maddinson reveals he first noticed something felt different during the Big Bash League that year.
It came to a head when he walked out of a NSW Blues training session at the MCG.
"Probably at moments throughout the Big Bash. It's similar to when you hear Olympians say they try so hard and put their whole life into one goal and when you don't get it you don't really know what to do with yourself," Maddinson said.
"I still enjoyed playing and I still enjoyed being out on the field, but everyday activities like getting up and going to the gym or going to training, doing those extra little things I lost a bit of drive to do.
"Training in the nets all week for a Shield game, I flew down to Melbourne and just in the nets in the space of about two minutes I knew it wasn't the place I needed to be. I needed to get away and take a break, refresh mentally.
"I was facing balls from Trent Johnston, the coach, and I thought 'this is not what I want to do today'. I walked outside the MCG and across to Punt Road and made a few phone calls, and that's when I decided I needed to step away for a couple of games."
Maddinson took a brief hiatus from cricket while he focused on his mental health.
He says while it was tough to go public with his struggles, he made the right decision in telling people about his battle.
"A bit of a relief in the end. Being uncharted territory (for me) in terms of taking a break from the game, I wasn't sure what to expect or how it would go down," he said.
"I called my parents and let them know what was going on and it was positive reinforcement I was doing the right thing.
"It was quite emotional telling my parents because to tell them I was going to miss a couple of games and I wasn't in the right head space to play cricket was the hardest thing to tell them. But they were very accepting of it."
Maddinson has since moved from NSW to Victoria and is thriving for the Bushrangers, scoring a 162 in a Sheffield Shield game earlier this season before breaking his wrist the next innings.
He's now playing for Melbourne Stars in the BBL, but hasn't given up hope of breaking back into Australia's Test team to don the baggy green again.