Niall O'Carroll

World Rugby has to act fast or face the consequences

By Niall O'Carroll / September 18, 2019 / 0 Comments

I was very sad to hear the news of Chester Williams’ passing recently. There are few more iconic figures in South African rugby than the man Nelson Mandela chose to be the face to represent a new nation at the 1995 World Rugby Cup. In the movie Invictus, they re-enact the moment when Madiba visits…

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Does the selection of Jean Kleyn undermine the Irish squad ethos before the World Cup?

By Niall O'Carroll / September 3, 2019 / 0 Comments

A major part of preparing a squad for an event like a World Cup is the consideration of the time that players spend in each other’s company over a prolonged period. The Rugby World Cup in Japan will take place from the 20th September when the hosts face Russia in Ireland’s group to the Final on…

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Science won’t win All-Ireland but it will certainly help

By Niall O'Carroll / August 29, 2019 / 0 Comments

“The b******t of science simply can’t handle quality football.” So said the GAA controversy seeking missile, Joe Brolly, in an article last year. Having spent a year working in inter country football, I have noticed an increasing number of ‘respected’ coaches and pundits echoing this view. It is almost like the world of gaelic football…

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The old pathway to professional football is long gone

By Niall O'Carroll / August 22, 2019 / 0 Comments

“Life at this age is rubbish with no money.” So tweeted by an 18-year-old footballer at Scottish amateur club Queens Park 2012. He had been released at the age of 15 by Celtic for being too small and was wandering aimlessly as a footballer, questioning his future in the game. Within two years he had…

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If you are good enough you are old enough

By Niall O'Carroll / August 15, 2019 / 0 Comments

Watching probably the two least popular teams in the country at the weekend, ABUs and ABDs take note, I was struck by one common theme. Both Jim Gavin and Ole Gunner Solksjaer are pinning their hopes of glory on youth. Now it is a bit of a stretch to compare the success enjoyed by Dublin…

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Planning is key for Ireland’s World Cup hopes

By Niall O'Carroll / August 8, 2019 / 0 Comments

South Africa have the opportunity of winning an abbreviated Rugby Championship when they face the Argentina this weekend. Obviously this game has relevance because of the fact that on the 21st September both these teams cross swords again in Yokahama in the opening round of the World Cup. This game is likely to decide the…

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Lowry stayed in the moment to land his dream

By Niall O'Carroll / August 1, 2019 / 0 Comments

The Open at Royal Portrush was an event to behold. In particular, the tale of two men intimately familiar with the course. Watching the universally popular Shane Lowry conquer the elements, the pressure and his competitors was something special to behold. Conversely watching Rory McIlroy crumble under the weight of expectation on Thursday and putting…

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Refocusing triggers are key to elite performance

By Niall O'Carroll / July 18, 2019 / 0 Comments

Resilience is at the heart of High Performance mindset. The ability to respond to adversity by delivering high quality performance is what differentiates the best from the rest. Many coaches misinterpret ‘mental toughness’ as ‘manning up’. Whatever that is supposed to mean? In reality the ultimate goal of any athlete is to deliver their best…

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Promoting women in sport has to be about more than the players

By Niall O'Carroll / July 12, 2019 / 0 Comments

The father of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin, once described women’s sport as an “unaesthetic sight” for the human eye. He described their participation as “impractical, uninteresting and improper.”  These words came to mind this week watching the USA team retain their FIFA Women’s World Cup title. It also made me think of…

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Social media and sport are now inextricably linked

By Niall O'Carroll / June 27, 2019 / 0 Comments

I was asked recently if I had any advice to offer athletes in relation to social media use. This came off the back of the most recent fodder for the online  ’quick to outrage’ mafia.  A childish post on Instagram by Manchester United players Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford from a holiday in Miami caused…

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