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Moran outlines his ‘Four Ps of captaincy’

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A MEETING OF MINDS Pictured at the Castlebar RFC & Connacht Rugby Optimising Performance Evening recently were, left to right: Charlie Lambert (Co-Ordinator Mayo Sports Partnership), Andy Moran (Mayo footballer), Deirdre Donnelly (Mayo Sports Partnership), Mona McSharry (World Junior Championship gold medal winner), David Howarth (Head of Athletic Performance, Connacht Rugby), Andy Friend (Connacht Rugby Head Coach), Rory Casey (Castlebar RFC),  Colm Tucker (Provincial Talent Coach, Connacht Rugby) and Neil Sheridan (Mayo Co Council). Pic: Heverin Print

Andy Moran was among the speakers at a recent performance seminar

Feature
Ger Flanagan

MAYO GAA star Andy Moran feels that his performance levels dipped on the field when he was captain of the county team.
The 2018 Footballer of the Year captained Mayo in 2012 and 2013, but missed a large part of the 2013 season due to a torn ligament injury sustained in the 2012 All-Ireland quarter-final with Down.
However, speaking at the ‘Optimising Performance’ seminar in the Breaffy House Hotel last week, an event that was organised by Castlebar RFC and in association with Connacht Rugby and Mayo Sports Partnership, the Ballaghaderreen native explained how he left felt that his off-field work had hindered his on-field performance.
“One thing I left behind me when I was captain, I was very good at the day-to-day stuff; ringing guys, helping guys out, making sure they’re okay,” said Moran as he discussed his ‘Four Ps of captaincy’. “I thought my performance dipped a tiny bit when I was captain. I had a few serious injuries alright, but I don’t think I was concentrating on my performance as much as I needed to be.
“The key is to do your job. There’s a great story about Barcelona’s Carlos Puyol.
“Luis Figo was coming back to Barcelona after they sold him to Real Madrid, so if he played well it would have been the worst thing in the world, and they didn’t know who would mark him.
“Puyol was 22 years-old and they put him on him. Yes, he kicked him up and down the pitch, but he did it because he had to, and he became the most successful captain in Barcelona’s history.”
Moran was speaking alongside Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend; Head of Athletic Performance at Connacht, David Howarth, swimmer Mona McSharry; transatlantic rower Damien Browne; and Connacht coach and former Irish player Colm Tucker.
During his presentation, Moran listed his ‘Four Ps’ for being a captain as preparation, practice, performance and people.
Speaking about practice, the Castlebar-based owner of ‘The Movement’ gym said that players should find what they’re good at, and perfect it.
“When I was 16, I was maybe the tenth best player for Ballaghaderreen,” he said about practice. “But there was a group of us willing to train harder than the more talented guys, and those guys should have done an awful lot more in the game than they did.
“Practice the thing you could be world class at. I’m a bit heavy here (points to his hips); I am very slow, but I can do one trick when I’m winning the ball so I try to make myself as good as I can when I’m doing that. So I would encourage everyone to learn that one thing.
“You always hear guys saying, ‘I need to practice my left foot’, but you’ve a really good right one and you’ll do 90 percent of your passing with that, so make it as good as you can make it.”
The two-time All Star urged the packed-out audience in Breaffy House to ‘remove yourself from comfort zones if you’re looking for an improvement’.
He said the fear of failure is a huge blight on modern society and he regrets how, for a large part of his career, he was only ‘focused on the result’.
“The biggest obstacle we have I feel in modern society is social media, it’s the perception that you’re failing,” he said. “We, especially our young people, hate the fact they might be failing.
“So what we do is stay in our comfort zone and we don’t run the race. Those people that have the talent were afraid to push it, afraid to say someone else might be better than them.
“We need to encourage people not to be afraid to run the race – go as hard as you can. If you continuously improve and if you do your PB, that’s all you can do, run the race.
“For a large part of my career, I focused on the end result. Mayo haven’t won an All-Ireland in, Jesus I don’t know, nearly 70 years,” he continued.
“For a large part of my career I thought it was all about winning All-Irelands, but what we have discovered over the last number of years is that we have something bigger than that. We have a team that really captured the imagination of the county and we really developed young players to come along and join the journey.
“And I think since 2011, we have really improved as a team and as a culture. And I think if we keep improving, we’ll one day get to where we need to get to.”

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