“Is it OK if I actually do nothing” O’Donoghue relishing downtime

‘Is it OK if I actually do nothing?’


Relaxing on the couch, Limerick midfielder William O’Donoghue is happy to ask the question on everyone’s mind during this latest lockdown.

2 February 2021; Na Piarsaigh and Limerick Hurler William O’Donoghue at the launch of Sportsfile’s 2020 edition of A Season of Sundays. This year’s eagerly anticipated offering looks back at all the memories throughout a year like no other and is once again supported by Carroll’s of Tullamore. The 2020 edition captures the highs and lows of an incredible GAA season with another captivating and colourful look back on a season that hung in the balance because of the Covid-19 pandemic. An ideal gift for any GAA fan, the book is available at bookstores nationwide and online at www.sportsfile.com Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

The difference being, the Na Piarsaigh native is after claiming a second All-Ireland medal in three season and is more than okay to take the downtime he has been afforded.

With the return to training suspended at the moment, O’Donoghue is relishing the break that he and his teammates aren’t usually presented with.

“It’s fine. I’m not paying much heed of it to be honest. I would imagine we’re going to be back on the 5th of March.

“You look at guys in professional sports they might get a ten week break. If we get a break for longer than 10 days, if you meet someone on the road, they’d nearly ask you ‘are you back training?’ Can I just do nothing for two weeks? Is it OK if I actually do nothing?’

“It’s probably only seven or eight weeks since we played the All-Ireland final. During that time, there’s been Christmas and stuff, so it’s been a welcome downtime.

“Don’t get me wrong, I can’t wait to go back training. I’m looking forward to kicking it off and being around all the lads again. You’d miss it, but at the same time, it’s important that when you’re away from it, you’re away from it, and take your downtime.”

“At the minute, motivation is low to go pounding the roads doing 5k’s. I don’t know anyone who has the motivation to do that! I can barely muster up a walk and a coffee at the weekend.

Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Final, LIT Gaelic Grounds, Limerick 30/6/2019 Tipperary vs Limerick Limerick’s William O’Donoghue with Seamus Callanan of Tipperary Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

After accepting the honour of Hurler of the Month for December, O’Donoghue’s county teammate Gearoid Hegarty was asked what was the secret behind his development into the supreme hurler he became.

The St Pats man’s answer was simple in that he outlined how less is more.

And it is something that O’Donoghue reiterates after a year like no other.

“I remember years back when you’d look at Hurlers of the Year or All-Stars, there was very rarely some within Limerick going back five, six, seven years ago. And you’re probably thinking ‘those guys do so much more to be at that level.

“But just have the confidence and belief in yourself that you have to lead a normal life, and do normal stuff, and have a social life as well. When you’re at training, do what’s prescribed, do it to the best of your ability. But also, enjoy the trip and the journey and see what comes of it.

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 27/7/2019 Limerick vs Kilkenny Limerick’s William O’Donoghue Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

“Any given normal year, you go back in November and you’re trying to peak in August. That’s what, the bones of 10 months? This year we went back, it was played off in about seven weeks, and I felt in as good a shape as I ever have.

“I just think it also just kind of gives you the confidence and the piece of mind to say you are doing enough, and you are ready and a bit of belief that no matter when it’s time to go, you will be ready if you’re doing the work prescribed for you, whether that’s going back in November – ten months from an All-Ireland final , or going back seven weeks out from one.

“Things don’t have to be perfect all the time. It doesn’t have to be the perfect scenario or the perfect training environment, because last year we had to do certain training on our own.

“Maybe there’s a sweeter element to that too, that you prove to yourself that when you’re called upon, you’re ready.”

William O’Donoghue was speaking at the launch of Sportsfile’s “A Season of Sunday’s”  which is available online now for €27.50

Buy A Season of Sunday’s 2020

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