I am Daniel Menzel, I am an AFL footballer for the Sydney Swans and previously played for the Geelong Cats. I got drafted at the end of 2009 to the Geelong Football Club and made my debut the following season in 2010. I then played a further 18 AFL games in 2011 on top of the 3 from my first year to take my tally to 21. In my 21st senior game, a Qualifying final, I ruptured my right ACL which began my run of injuries where I went onto rupture my left ACL a further 3 times. I came back from four knee reconstructions and returned successfully to the AFL after 1450 days on the sidelines. Through this time I endured a number of setbacks and struggled mentally but always had confidence that I could make it back. I had this confidence through self belief but as much through the encouragement from my footy club, my family, friends and supporters.
My website is to help others realise what they can achieve and offers support, advice and evidence that you can reach your goals through hardship and challenges. We provide hope and belief offering information, plans and ideas on how to tackle challenges and battle through struggles whether it be through an ACL recovery, a long term injury or a mental challenge. We also offer apparel relating to our slogan MTMF to those who wish to purchase our products for training or casual wear and it comes with that sentimental value to them.
What is ‘MTMF’
‘MTMF’ is an abbreviation for Mental Toughness, Mental Fortitude which is a slogan that I created when I was struggling through my four knee reconstructions. It’s on my wristband which I have worn every day for the past few years. To me, it has a couple of meanings, one it reminds me of all the messages and letters that I receive offering peoples ongoing support to help me through this, reminding me that I am not in this alone and with everyone’s continued support, I can overcome anything. This further drove me to make a comeback to have a chance to repay everyone who had supported me. Secondly, it reminds me that I have endured as much as anyone in the AFL and therefore I can keep going and overcome anything, nothing is too hard nor too far, anyone can see the adversity in a difficult situation, it takes a stronger person to see the opportunity.
Throughout my rehabs and setbacks, I would go over and read all these messages which motivated me to keep going and so combined with my drive and will to never give up I knew that I would always make it back. I wanted to feel this motivation and drive everyday through my rehab and although I knew that there would be some really difficult and testing times, I knew that this would help me throughout. I also knew that what I was experiencing was not a normal thing to endure as an athlete and therefore mentally what I have to go through, I would have a real advantage over other footballers when I do get back. I’ve been through so much, I can handle a little bit more and so therefore I knew mentally that I was very strong and was never going to give it away. So I wanted a reminder every minute of everyday that I am strong enough to get through this and along with all the support, I would not be defeated. That is where my wristband – MTMF – came in. I got it custom made and so every session I would train and look down at it and would almost get a hit of adrenaline every time that no matter how difficult the exercise, how difficult the rehab would get, it would remind me how much it all means and how far we’ve come, I am not in this alone, we will get through this and make it back. I would and still do glance down at it and with a smile and think we have got this, there is no way its defeating us. I wear my wristband everyday and only take it off to play games and wrote ‘MTMF’ on my wrist before my comeback games. I have been so fortunate with the support I have had and for anyone going through difficult times, just realise that there is support for you and that it is how you handle yourself through adversity that truly defines you. This is what people will notice and admire and it is what you will be most proud of! #MTMF