THE first thing I do whenever I enter a team dressing room is to scan the place for the number one object guaranteed to cause stress to a huge portion of the players in that room. It’s usually under a table or the middle of a floor while someone publicly records what it shows. The weighing scales. […]

Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh: Perfectionism

CAN you ever be too perfect? No is probably the automatic answer, but sometimes the pursuit of excellence in sport can lead to a futile road looking for the impossible – the perfect athlete or the perfect performance. The competitiveness of sport brings us to stressful situations like injuries, performance pressures, rows within the camp, rows […]

Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh – Depression

WE’RE rapidly approaching the end of the year, a time we’re all supposed to be full of goodwill and cheer. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for everyone. Christmas can be a hard time for many. And for some, every day is unbearable. Most of us wouldn’t be aware of the signs that someone may […]


WE’RE all familiar with the scenario of the mismatched games. A team beaten out the gate before half-time. It’s torture for all involved, and unless they’re managed correctly, can leave a psychological mark for the worse, on both sides. You run the risk of players quitting, demotivated, on both sides. Why? Because those of us who […]

Máire Treasa Ní Cheallaigh: Hail Marys are for the church

THE  ‘Hail Mary pass’ is now in most sports fan’s lexicon. A quick Google describes it as a last-second, long-shot attempt by a losing team to come from behind and win. Apparently, in 1975 in the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys were trailing the Minnesota Vikings. The clock was winding down and quarterback Roger Staubach threw […]