Kilkenny Camogie Star Grace Walsh30/06/2014
Kieran Hughes - Liberty Finance
When I joined the Kilkenny senior panel, Anne Downey my coach was a big influence on my development. Anne played many years at top level camogie for Kilkenny experiencing both highs and lows. Taking direction from Anne and her positive attitude towards performance is setting a benchmark on how I mentally prepare for games whilst also enjoying the sport I love.
Preparation happens well before throw in on match day. I try to apply the same focus at training on the field as I do on match day. This for me builds a good habit and helps improve my concentration and avoid distractions that could put me off my game.
I feel you have to be very honest playing camogie. Before each game I prepare mentally by focusing on the specific game at hand, thinking of my role and what aspects I can do to play my best. I try not to over think external factors in the game.
I cannot control the uncontrollable, so I channel all my focus on making sure every time I get the ball I execute my passes correctly, I take my scoring opportunities when they come and give 100% in defence. This helps me avoid unnecessary nerves that may distract my role within the team.
I’ve taken a lot of learnings on board after last season’s All-Ireland final defeat to Galway. It was a big occasion and as a young player nerves were hard to avoid. We’ve had to regroup and identify both individually and as a team where we can improve. I feel I will develop more as a player after experiencing occasions like last year and this will allow me to be the best I can be.