Waterford star Austin Gleeson reveals how criticism from pundits over 2016 awards saw him develop a 'stupidity mindset'
Waterford's hurler Austin Gleeson has admitted that criticism from some pundits affected his performances last season.
Gleeson felt burdened by the fact that he felt he had to justify being the 2016 Young Hurler of the Year and Hurler of the Year throughout last year after some pundits had criticised the decision to give him the award.
He believes his form suffered as a result.
While he did not read the verdict of the pundits directly, he was informed of their views by others.
The 22-year-old admitted that the self-imposed pressure affected him after each mistake and he even questioned when he did things right whether he could have done it better.
"It wasn't from anyone else. It was from myself," he told Off The Ball in Newstalk.
"Looking back on it, I shouldn't have been doing that
"The whole year was bypassed then because I was doing it. It was a stupidity mindset out of my own thoughts like and I don't know why I done it.
"I suppose there was so much around the awards: '[I] should have got it, [I] shouldn't have got it...', different things like that.
"I wanted to prove a point then the following year that I was good that year and deserved the awards
"It just didn't happen, no matter what I tried. It just didn't come off for me.
"I wouldn't say I wasn't enjoying it. It was more so I was enjoying what I was doing. I was enjoying playing, I was enjoying going training but the second one thing went wrong, I was zoned out of the game for five minutes and I couldn't get back into the game because I was thinking, if I miss a catch, 'Why did I miss that catch? I probably would have made that last year'. So I was thinking back on previous [year] and not looking forward."
When something went awry on the field he would contemplate how pundits would react.
"They're going to pick that out, they're going to pick that out," he added.
"That's a mentality that no one should have.
"500 people could tell you a good thing and if one person says something bad, you alway remember the bad. No matter who you are. you always look at that one thing that's negative and try and twist it and change it."
Gleeson has spoken with a number of people since the end of last season about it, including manager Derek McGrath, and is adamant that he is relishing the start of the championship.
"I'm enjoying it again. I'm eager to go again. I've a hunger I didn't have last year even though I was telling myself I did have it. I know from the frame of mind I'm in that I'm hungry for it again."