Mentally fit for sport and your life
After a dreadful Six Nations last year, Ireland gave a more promising start to 2014 by defeating Scotland on Sunday. We’ve another home game this weekend against Wales, but we still have to play away, facing both France and England.
Focusing on the positive
It’s important to take the good from the win last weekend and stay positive and motivated. Despite the absence of key players like Tommy Bowe and Keith Earles, we had a great victory and should focus on the strength the team gained by pulling together.
Team sports are a perfect example of drawing on our support networks, enabling us to achieve more. No matter how talented an individual player is, they need the rest of their team to help them to the point where their talent can flourish and vice versa.
In fact, minding your mental health in general is as much a part of success in sport as physical ability. Being able to manage your expectations and disappointments and motivating yourself in the face of seemingly tough odds is not easy.
Not limited to sport
While the intensity of sporting situations lends itself naturally to continually working on your mental health, that’s not to say the rest of us should just let it fall by the wayside.
We may not be lucky enough to play in the Super Bowl, or bump shoulders with Brian O’Driscoll, but we will undoubtedly all face stressful situations in life.
Learning to manage our mental health and knowing when to draw on support can help us live life in the way we’d prefer. Then who knows, maybe one day we’ll make it onto a pitch rather than just the local park.