Saturday 29 April 2017

'It’s absolute nonsense' - Kevin McManamon hits out at sports psychology critics

Kevin McManamon attempts to get away from Mayo duo Stephen Coen, left, and Brendan Harrison. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Kevin McManamon attempts to get away from Mayo duo Stephen Coen, left, and Brendan Harrison. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Conor McKeon

Conor McKeon

KEVIN McManamon has rubbished the recent wave of criticism over the growing use of sports psychology in Irish sport as “nonsense".

McManamon, who completed a Masters Degree in Applied Sports and Exercise Psychology in UUJ in 2014 and now works in the industry, insisted that a lack of understanding of the precise nature of the role had prompted such negative comment.

He added that he “wouldn’t still be playing for Dublin", had he not embraced the practice.

“It’s absolute nonsense. It’s people who don’t really understand what they’re talking about,” the four-time All-Ireland winner stressed.

“When you talk about the difference between winning and losing,” McManamon went on, “people don’t say ‘that team was stronger or fitter’, they always talk about how they performed under pressure and they always talk about confidence.

“They always talk about the intangible stuff. So why wouldn’t you train it? I think it’s naïve to bash it.”

McManamon added: “I don’t think it’s as simple as bashing sports psychology.

“It’s bashing positive thinking and all this stuff, which is different altogether.

 “But working on your mindset, working on your mental skills – that’s a no-brainer for me.

“I wouldn’t still be playing for Dublin if I didn’t do it. I wouldn’t have had the success I had if I didn’t do it.”

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