South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell has revealed how he overcame a rollercoaster year of footy to put himself in the best mindset of his life as he helps the Kangaroos fight for the World Cup title: writing in a journal every day.

The brilliant centre-turned-fullback has been a lightning rod for controversy throughout his career, and that continued to be the case in 2022. But all that appears to be a distant speck in his rear-view mirror as he helps power Australia to the World Cup final, starting with Saturday’s semi against the Kiwis.

Mitchell battled through an injury so severe he had to go to the USA for treatment, copped crowd abuse so severe he likened it to the treatment that drove fellow Indigenous star Adam Goodes out of the game, and swore to report racist trolls to the police every time they target him.

‘I am definitely in a great headspace, probably the best I have ever been,’ he told the Daily Telegraph. ‘I have learned to cope with a lot of things. I have been putting tools in there and fixing things when they come to me.’

The Rabbitohs powerhouse has found the new method so effective that he’s recommending it to his teammates. ‘I’ll sit there and read it back to myself, take some deep breaths and brush it,’ he explained. One of those tools is his new habit of recording his thoughts in a journal at the end of every day, then reflecting on how he reacted to various situations and whether he can improve.

‘I would suggest it to a lot of the young fellas. It would be good for them. ‘I might publish it as a book or something … I was feeling like  s**t so I started writing … that is why I have been feeling a lot happier. [It’s] very powerful.’ Mitchell has been free to negotiate with other clubs since November 1, but Bunnies fans shouldn’t worry about him leaving Redfern – and he pinpointed a key moment in his time at the club that ensured he’d stay loyal.

The 25-year-old and Addo-Carr were fined for breaking Covid protocols when they went on a camping trip on the NSW north coast in April 2020 as the pandemic raged, and came in for fierce criticism for the breach.

‘I don’t want to bring it back up but the Covid thing – what happened with me and Fox [Kangaroos teammate Josh Addo-Carr] a couple of years back… yeah, Souths were a massive support to myself, and that’s when I knew I was at home,’ he said this week.

Earlier this year Mitchell won high praise from American rehab guru Bill Knowles, who worked on his troublesome hamstrings in Philadelphia as Souths became worried about the long-term impact of repeated injuries to the muscles. Knowles who has worked with the likes of Tiger Woods, Jonny Wilkinson and Peyton Manning described the NRL star as ‘an incredibly powerful, incredibly gifted’ athlete.

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