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Sarah gets into some mind games



IT came as little surprise to hear that Mayo ladies footballer Sarah Rowe was named the AFLW ‘Irish Player of the Year’ for 2020.
The Collingwood star beat off competition from the likes of Aisling McCarthy and fellow Mayo natives Cora Staunton and Aileen Gilroy, and was instrumental as Collingwood qualified for the finals before Covid-19 halted the Australian season.
Rowe’s successful second season Down Under coincided with her decision to ramp up her off-field application.
Speaking to The Mayo News recently, the Ballina native explained how she had added ‘two kg’ of muscle to her frame to deal with the increased physical demands of the Australian game. She also revealed that she’s been studying neuro-linguistic-programming (NLP) and hypnosis in her spare time and applying the skills she learned to both her own game and to her team-mates.
“I’m a qualified teacher but I have no more interest in that than the man on the moon,” she laughed. “So when I was in Australia I studied NLP and hypnosis because I’m very into the mind of an athlete and of people in general, and I’ve worked with lots of sports psychologists in the past and I find it very interesting.
“NLP is basically talking to your subconscious mind and trying to get the best out of an individual. I decided to study it because I’ve found it such a benefit to me. I think a lot of sports people use these tools but don’t speak about it.
“The benefits are huge. I might even say something to my team-mates, give them a few tips on what might work for, because people struggle with their confidence and mindset at times,” she continued.
“It’s a cycle for everyone. It’s not like professional athletes all go around confident and feeling on top of our game all that time, it doesn’t work like that. So to be able to keep your mind at a steady state and to be able to be as consistent as you can be, doing NLP and hypnosis has massively helped me and some of my team-mates in that regard.”
Rowe said she plans on pursuing a Masters degree in the field at some stage in the near future. Watch this space!

Ger Flanagan

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