15 things I heard, read or reflected on in the days following the Euros.
1. Billy Jean is not my lover…
This I heard former World Number 1 tennis player Billy Jean King say on a Desert Island Discs podcast and I like it.
‘Three of my principles in life are: 1. Relationships are everything. 2. Keep learning and keep learning how to learn. 3. Be a problem-solver.’ Continue reading
So, a week late. An account of the last two days of the tournament. There are reasons. Always reasons. Continue reading
Three seemingly unconnected things happened around the 1870s. Food refrigeration techniques for food were vastly improved. Transatlantic boat crossings became faster and safer with the advent of steamships. And, crucially, barbed wire was invented in the USA. Continue reading
‘Adversity is the first path to truth… Out of chaos God made a world, and out of high passions comes a people.’ Lord Byron, writer, native of Nottingham.
Out of the chaos of the playing gear fiasco, Continue reading
Remember Andy Townsend? Chelsea and Aston Villa midfielder who played for, and captained, Ireland under the grandparent rule. He is actually to blame. Continue reading
I’ve read a lot of sports psychology over the last year so I know this is basic stuff and I just have to accept I got it badly wrong. I should know better. I built things up too much in my head, put too much pressure on myself, and got into how big the whole thing was, dug myself into a hole. I should have just trusted my processes, trusted my body’s muscle memory, all those hours of practice, my body knew what to do. Just let it flow. That’s being ‘in the zone.’
Game 1 vs England
First match up was against England on the pitch I made my Ireland debut on in 2011… against England. This was the advice I got from a friend by text before that game. ‘Everything is going to happen at such speed you won’t realise what’s happening to you. You’ve got to be ready for it… Hit it from the start like a hurricane!’ Continue reading
We lost the final to England 6-5 in a drop off… (Basically, when it’s a draw at the end of full time, each team goes down to 5 players, after another two minutes, each team drops to four players and then to 3 players each and the first to score wins.) It was 5-5 at full time.
I’ll write something tomorrow but right now I’m devastated. The way I’d describe it is that I keep going from room to room in my head but I don’t want to stay in any of them so I just keep going round and round and I can’t find any comfort anywhere.
I think that’s all I can say at the moment.
First game up vs France this morning. We had to win this game to have any chance of making the final. Remember how we lost to them 8-7 on Day 1…
Remember too if any extra motivation was needed how we lost to France in the football Euros a couple of weeks ago…
England 8 Ireland 8
‘2 minute warning…’ says the announcer.
What runs through your mind as you stand on the pitch before the start of an international game?
I’d decided that my only pre-game thought for today to get me in a proper mindset would ‘This is a final. I love finals.’