"The pressure and the expectation of performing at premiership level, of winning another flag, of wanting to be a good player, I probably let that consume me a bit too much," Barrass said.
"I didn't just play carefree footy and have fun out there, and once that starts to snowball you lose control a bit. Once your confidence goes, and combine that with not feeling passionate about footy, your performance goes too."
Barrass says he was supported by the Eagles' senior leaders and coaches in the off-season and given a "template" to follow as he built an identity for himself that wasn't attached to football. He changed his university degree from science to arts, took up gardening, and is working in radio.
"I think I arrived on having a better off-field balance, pursuing creative interests off-field and pursuing professional interests off-field to create an identity for yourself that's not too attached to the footy club and how your on-field performances go," he said.