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Sharks winger Ronaldo Mulitalo.

Cronulla stars Andrew Fifita, Josh Dugan and Braden Hamlin-Uele have encouraged a group of the club's younger players to cope with the pressure of the NRL by keeping a journal and talking about their emotions.

Winger Ronaldo Mulitalo, rookie halfback Braydon Trindall and hooker Kyle Paterson used the five-week hiatus from training to begin studying youth work courses and have been receiving support from Fifita, Hamlin-Uele and Dugan, who is studying to be a counsellor.

"Some of those boys have got a background in mental health," Mulitalo said ahead of Saturday night's match against North Queensland. "We have been learning about ourselves as well as dealing with pressure and depression, and stuff like that.

"It works hand-in-hand in this game. Obviously we are in the spotlight and it is not easy being a 20-year-old kid, running around doing something you love in front of so many people."

Hamlin-Uele suggested the players express their emotions in a journal each day, along with a feeling of gratitude.

They also discuss what they wrote or talk about how they feel.

"The older boys have led from the start," Mulitalo said. "It is not one of those things where we should be embarrassed. Andrew Fifita and Josh Dugan keep a journal as well, and Braden Hamlin-Uele does too.

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"That was Braden's idea and it seems to be working for me right now; using a journal, speaking out and just making it a comfortable environment when we get back to training where you can talk about things that blokes don't normally talk about."

Mulitalo, who wants to be a youth worker or a police officer when he finishes playing, revealed that his journal entry last Friday was about his frustration at not being able to attend a friend's 21st birthday celebrations.

He had to prepare for Saturday's game against Wests Tigers at Bankwest Stadium but NRL players also need to abide by strict biosecurity guidelines and cannot socialise with people outside their household.

"At 20 years old you want to go out and do the things that a 20-year-old does," he said. "I won't beat about the bush, a 20-year-old wants to go out with their friends and have a couple of beers but you have got to sacrifice that to be able to do the things that only a small amount of people get to do.

"I had a mate's 21st birthday last Friday and they had invited me. He said 'come and pop in' but I couldn't because there is something bigger than that. I had a game the next day so I had to put that aside.

"I wrote that in my journal. I was feeling a bit upset about that so I wrote down what I was grateful for and that was just to be able to go out there on Saturday afternoon and play against the Tigers at Bankwest with one of the teams I wanted to play for [Cronulla] and with Shaun Johnson and that.

"The journal helps me keep things in perspective. It's more my emotions about how I am. I like to write it down now, if I am feeling nervous or if I am feeling a bit overjoyed or just little things like that. If I am feeling a bit sad or however I am.

"Then I like to write notes about my footy, I am my harshest critic. I am pretty early in my journey but I am sure when I get there it will be good."

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