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Austy’s advice for ambitious athletes


IN FOCUS Austin O’Malley works as Performance Lead with McNulty Performance in Dublin.

Austin O’Malley on making sense of the new normal

Mike Finnerty

RIGHT now everyone is trying to make sense of this new reality.
The world as we knew it a few weeks ago has changed dramatically and none of us know for certain when things are going to return to the way they were. Or if they ever will.
As Austin O’Malley puts it, ‘There’s a period of adjustment going on at the moment’.
It’s become an open secret at this stage, but O’Malley is a man of many talents.
The Louisburgh native and former Mayo footballer left behind a career as a secondary school teacher to join Armagh All-Ireland winner Enda McNulty at ‘McNulty Performance’ — a consulting business that aims to ‘inspire action and ignite performance’ for people in everything from sport to business to the performing arts.
O’Malley works with McNulty as ‘Performance Lead’, a role that has seen him link with some of the country’s elite athletes and teams as well as with high-performing men and women from the world of business.
Who better then to ask about how we all should we approaching this ‘new normal’ that has visited our lives thanks to Coronavirus.
A situation that is as unfamiliar as it is open-ended.
“It’s going to make for an interesting social study, and it’ll be fascinating to see what kind of imprint it leaves,” he began when The Mayo News caught up with him last week.
“The key one for me is disruption to routine. People are indoctrinated into a routine or a process in their lives and none of us have ever experienced anything like this before.
“Some people may have lost a job and in many ways that means they feel like they’ve lost some of their identity. And that means that the way you view yourself and the world changes.
“The challenge is, can you flip your mindset? Can you reframe the situation and use this as a catalyst for yourself?”
This idea of ‘flipping your mindset’ and ‘being more present’ is at the heart of how Austin O’Malley believes people need to approach the days, weeks and months ahead.
Instead of becoming anxious at the prospect of the uncertainty ahead, we should use it as an opportunity to draw up a 90-day plan of action or some new routines for personal development. ‘Reflect on what’s important in our lives’.
There’s no doubt it makes sense, but what about those people who may have lost their job as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak? How should they try to address their situation?
“Across all performance areas, resilience and mindset are the big things,” he said.
“I think you have to sit down and reflect on your ‘key signature strengths’. Ask yourself, ‘what are they?’ ‘What can I bring to the table?
“Sit down and look at your network of family and friends, and reflect with them.
There is a lot of people in the same situation, and it’s important to look for the good in situations. Remember that we will get through this and there will be opportunities again.
“It’s about building your mindset and reaching out for help if you need it. There is help out there and mental health is so important.
“You have to be careful around your thought process at this time too,” he added. “And how it can build your viewpoint of the world. . . We have to be careful about what we’re consuming in terms of coverage of Coronavirus; you have to manage your thoughts, that’s so important.
“If you’re living in 360 degrees of newsfeed, you need to be very careful.
“And you have to reflect, you have to stay connected to other people.
“It’s important to look at things through two lenses — a microscope for the detail of the day and a telescope for the longer-term view.”

Austy's advice
“Take control of your day. From first thing in the morning. Go back to the fundamental pillars that underpin everything else: your physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health. They set you up for success in the day.”

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