Chelsea Women’s central defender Millie Bright is one of four Blues representatives playing for the Lionesses at the Women’s World Cup and she has explained why she will be avoiding social media while at the major tournament…
Throughout the 2017 Euros, which was the 25-year-old’s first major tournament, she stayed away from social media and kept a journal. In her latest column for BBC Sport, she revealed why she is doing the same for her debut World Cup tournament.
‘I consider myself a mentally strong player. It's something that people always label me with, although I have been on a journey in that regard, but no matter how strong you are I know that all the opinion that will fly around in the tournament can eat away at you and have a potentially lasting effect.
‘It's not a risk I'm prepared to take. I'm happy staying in the World Cup bubble with England and eliminating the distractions. Besides, I want to enjoy every minute of this unique experience , and I don't want to look back and think that I was just sat on my phone.
‘These days everyone is on their phone and I just want to enjoy the places we're visiting and be 100 per cent focussed on the World Cup.’
Bright started her World Cup journal in the build-up to the tournament and uses it as coping mechanism for dealing with the ups and downs of a professional footballer on the global stage.
‘My mum made me a special one for the Euros, and she has done the same again with lots of cute notes from my family, which was a surprise. They are so nice to read when you're away.
‘It's important to realise that in football, it's not always rosy. Don't get me wrong, being at a World Cup is something I dreamed of as a little girl, and never thought would happen. But there are times when you might have a bad training session or a bad day, and although I would often go to a team-mate to have a chat if that were the case, it's also great to have the option of expressing your thoughts in a journal if you don't want to bother anyone.’
Bright also opened up about her past fears and how far she has come as a person and a football player.
‘When I was younger, I had a fear of being judged as a footballer, and my worst fear was feeling like I didn't belong at the level of football I was playing.
‘At first, I used to just shrug off people's opinions and I think most people think it didn't affect me, but actually, inside I was struggling. In truth, it was just a mask to my real emotions,’ she said.
‘I had the perception that speaking out about your problems was a weakness, but after working with Chelsea manager Emma Hayes, I learned that vocalising them is actually stronger than keeping them in.'