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  • Southside

Dubs star Kevin opens up about pressures of Inter-County football

Monday, 19th August, 2019 6:00pm
Dubs star Kevin opens up about pressures of Inter-County football

Despite an impressive haul of accolades, including six All-Ireland titles and eight Leinster titles, the St Jude’s star has had to come to terms with internal pressures.

Dubs star Kevin opens up about pressures of Inter-County football

Despite an impressive haul of accolades, including six All-Ireland titles and eight Leinster titles, the St Jude’s star has had to come to terms with internal pressures.

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DUBLIN star and SuperValu GAA ambassador, Kevin McManamon, has opened up about the personal challenges he has had to face and overcome during his 10 years in a blue jersey. 

Despite an impressive haul of accolades, including six All-Ireland and eight Leinster titles, the St Jude’s player has had to come to terms with internal pressures that led him to believe he wasn’t good enough. 

“In 2009, there were probably six or seven of us who were brought in that year that were a bit rough around the edges,” he shares in a new video. 

“I was a little bit out of my depth,” said the Templeogue club’s star. “Particularly, I would have had this, you know, imposter idea that I’m going to be found out at any time.

“If I was to talk about the biggest challenges, I think mine were kind of internal. You’re supposed to act a particular way when you’re a bloke, particularly a sportsman. It was more of a personal thing. Was I good enough to play at the top, top level?”

Starting to see the impact his mindset was having on him personally and on his football, Kevin says: “It made me look inside and actually have a deep dig through the lairs. I was getting in and out of games – playing well one week, playing poorly the other week.

 “I was just completely underperforming. I was hijacked. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind, really. I was taken off, it was pretty much the end of my season that year.

“I was dreading the game in the hours before the match and not sleeping the night before.

“The days it went right it was great, but days it went wrong it was, you know, low enough, or challenging enough in terms of just responding to it you know?”

Coming to the realisation that this mindset could not continue, Kevin knew he had to tackle and manage the negativity that was impacting him personally and on the pitch. 

“I remember having a chat with our sports psych, Caroline, and that was a big change for me because it was the first time that I was really honest and told anyone what I was like. And that was a lightbulb moment for me. 

“In 2012, I went back to college studying psychology, back playing music and stuff. You know, just trying to fill up other areas in my life, so that if football didn’t go right, if I got a bang and my career was over, at least I’d have something else.”

Speaking about why he continues to play at the highest level, Kevin added: “Why do I do this? You think it’s not worth the stress – but it 100 per cent is.

“Once you get past that, you walk it down and you challenge it. It’s all good and the gifts you get at the end are beautiful. I just love competing.

“I just love the idea of pitting yourself up against another guy, another team, and then trying to outsmart them.

“I always felt that mindset was the thing that separated the good from the great. Performing when the stakes are high.

“I love the idea of being in a caldron and people looking to you and they need something done or they need a score or whatever it is,” he adds. “I love that.”

“You’re supposed to act a particular way when you’re a bloke, particularly a sportsman.”

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