In 2022, when rookie OF Riley Greene suffered an injury during Spring Training, the Detroit Tigers went out and traded for Austin Meadows. The hope was that Meadows would come in and be an everyday outfielder for the team, while also being a big part of the offense. Unfortunately, that was not the case as he dealt with injury issues, and he eventually revealed that he was also dealing with his mental health. “What I have told very few people is that I also have been struggling with my mental health in a way that has extended my time away from the game that I love so much,” Meadows wrote. “I've been dealing with this privately with a great team of professionals, but I need to continue to put in the hard work off the field towards feeling mentally healthy.”
Austin Meadows opens up about ‘Anxiety Monster'
During a recent interview with Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, Meadows opened up about dealing with anxiety during his first season with the Tigers.
“It was tough. From a mental health perspective, I've been dealing with some stuff a few years before the trade happened, just some anxiety and stuff like that. It got out of control during last offseason, and then the trade happened, and everything snowballed from there. I had a good team of therapists and people to work with down here in Tampa at the time. I was trying to figure everything out while also playing, and everything snowballed when the trade happened. It was just a few days before Opening Day. The trade and going to Detroit had some stuff to do with it, but the anxiety got worse as I changed cities. I couldn't adjust. That was the gist of it.
“I'm really fortunate to now have a really good therapist up in Detroit that the team has linked me up with. This offseason has been amazing with having our daughter (Adelynne), being in a much better place mentally and being in a much better physical shape. Everything is starting to go in the right direction.”
Why it Matters for Meadows and the Tigers
If Meadows is able to get back to how he played while he was in Tampa Bay, it would be absolutely huge for Detroit. During his interview with Petzold, Meadows said he believes he can get back to an all-star level.
“I do, I really do. The biggest thing is I've controlled what I can this offseason. I've put myself in the best place to succeed on the field and stay healthy. I'm right where I want to be mentally, and I'm right where I want to be physically. I went back to my old trainer that I used in Georgia for three or four years, back when I was with Tampa Bay. We moved down here (to Florida) in 2020, and I used a different trainer. I got back with my trainer in Atlanta, and we work virtually in the gym at home. He's made me feel the best I've ever felt. It all starts in the offseason. If I can stay on the field, I think big things can happen. I'm not a goal setter, like hit this or that, but for me, if I continue to take care of myself on and off the field and stay healthy, I think good things will happen.”
Please click here to read the full article from Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press, it is worth it.