Saturday 29 April 2017

Players need to man up and deal with criticism

Johnny O'Connor
Johnny O'Connor

Johnny O'Connor

I read a post on social media last weekend that got under my skin. If you're a professional rugby player you need to take the highs with the lows and criticism is part of the game.

During your career you will be blasted for a poor performance or have fans and media praising you for a good display. Some players are just too sensitive to it all, and for me are mentally weak.

When they get to an elite level of the game, and they are performing on TV, and representing thousands of fans, they need to realise it won't always be positive feedback.

I can understand why a younger player should be shielded from some of the harsher elements out there, because that can damage their confidence, and at a young age that can be detrimental.

But when you are a number of years in the game, you need to have matured enough to brush off the criticism. If you know that you are preparing well for the games, and performing your roles for the team, then that should be adequate.

You are either in the arena or on the sidelines. You should grateful for it, take it on the chin and move on.

Irish Independent

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