b'coach supported him with a pep talk, and bythe positive, and he shared this advice for when telling him the Eagles were also his family.things get tough: Dont worry about what any-I hugged him and I cried and I said, Its gameone says.time, Mr. Mailata recalled. The words of en- By Healthy Courier staff couragement and reassurance that I wasntCatholic Partnership Schools alone was a big part of how I coped with it. He added, Dont be afraid to cry. Even big men cry. Laura Romano, stress-reduction teacherLike many professional athletes, Mr. Mailata hadToo many thoughts to overcome adversity to become a starting Ea- swimming in your head gles playerespecially after he injured his backall at once? in 2018 and missed the 2019 season. His coach, his girlfriend, and others helped. IYou might want to learn know that even if I wasnt a football player theyabout mindfulness.would still love me for the person I am, he said. It is a practice of notic-Mr. Mailata also said that having regular con- ing all of what is hap-versations and opening up to those around him,pening in the present including his therapist, helped reduce stress. Imoment without judging learned over my years that talking to somebodyit, said Laura Romano, director of spiritual care is so beneficial, and you learn and grow from itand mindfulness at Einstein Healthcare Network. as a person, he said. And it has many benefits.He also practices breathing techniques andAt first, learning to be in the present moment is grounding exercises that his therapist hashard to do, Ms. Romano said. It takes practice. taught him. If you train your mind, then yourShe offered three steps to get started:body will follow is Mr. Mailatas philosophy.Make a plan. Decide how many minutes Other ways he copes include a no football talkyou want to practice.rule at home. He also plays guitar, piano, andPick something to focus on. It could be video games to help himself unwind. something you feel, hear, or see.Being in the public eye, Mr. Mailata hears a lot of When your mind wanders, bring your opinions about himself. Ive learned to block outattention back to what you picked as your the noise, he said. Im confident in my abilityfocus.to perform. He said hes learned to focus on 23'