Insights from a Performance Psychologist

 

Dr. Kate Kirby is currently the Head of Performance Psychology at the Institute of Sport in Dublin. Kate has worked with Irelands top athletes for over a decade. Providing her expertise to numerous sporting bodies including; The GAA, The IRFU, and most notably The Irish Olympic teams.

Kate has attended both the London and Rio Olympic Games, providing her expertise as a performance psychologist to athletes from various disciplines. Kates contribution to Annalise Murphy’s Olympic silver medal is but one accolade of Kates decorated career.

With a BA in Applied Psychology, a MSc in Sport Psychology and a PhD from UCD, Kates extensive knowledge of the field can be heard in an approachable way on this episode.

We discuss the implications psychology has on our performance and how athletes need to be mentally (as well as physically fit) in order to perform at their best. Kate works with athletes on an individual and team based level to help them maximise their performance potential. She believes in using simple problem solving techniques to empower athletes to reach their goals and perform when it matters most.

Chat with an AFL player

We recently sat down for a conversation with Hawthorn FC player Conor Nash.

Conor was scouted and moved to Australia to pursue a career as a professional athlete, recently making his debut for Hawthorn Football club in Melbourne. Breaking into the starting line-up last season, Conor has demonstrated that he’s there to stay, taking each game in his stride.

Growing up in Navan, Conor played football for Simonstown Gaels and Rugby for Navan RFC, excelling in both at an early stage. As we allude to in the interview, it wasn’t long before the scouts came knocking.

The Quiet Guys Podcast had the chance to speak to Conor about his journey to date and how this all unfolded. We wish him and his family all the best with the upcoming season and all future endeavours.

Special thanks to Simonstown GFC for hosting us.

Insights from a Performance Physiotherapist

We sat down with physiotherapist Barry McEntee. Barry graduated from University College Dublin with an Honours degree in Physiotherapy and is currently a Chartered Physiotherapist running his own practice. Barry’s research currently published in academic journals centres around Gaelic football players and groin injuries.

Having a keen interest in sport and physical activity as a youth, this seeded the ground for a career path in physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation. We spoke about the reasoning for his choices to pursue such a career, and the obstacles he overcame to get there.

Like most careers, the road after college can seem daunting, plans undoubtably change and reshape. We asked about thoughts on this.
After taking a position at the Sports Surgery Clinic in Santry (against original plans), Barry received day to day exposure to a plethora of injuries which provided him with invaluable experience and bolstered his knowledge early on.

Barry then went on to set up McEntee Performance Physio. Compiling his knowledge and experience from undergrad, Santry and work with various sporting outlets, Barry has created a well-respected name in physiotherapy.

From talking to Barry about his practice its clear he focuses on the fundamentals and getting people back fit and active as soon as possible. Whether that be individuals of various disciplines and abilities or teams and squads such as the Meath Senior Football team, McEntee Performance Physio’s treat all with the same professional scope.

In the final segment we speak about sedentary behaviour, mainly the effects of chronic sitting. Whether in school, college or work most of us are sitting down for the vast majority of the day. We discuss the idea, health benefits and growing research in the area of standing desks.

Much like any science, physiotherapy is ever evolving and growing with ongoing research being churned out all over the globe. Barry finishes on the importance of keeping up to date on current practice and fishing out the good research from the bad.

(Barry is a co-founder of the company midesc.ie along with Jamie Queeney, which has an interesting story behind it. Check it out if you’re interested)

Swipe Right

This episode is focused on Technology in all its varied forms. In a conversation with our friend and recent Masters graduate, Ben Costello, we delve into the business models behind the apps you use daily. The episode is spent trying to put some context on a world dominated by virtual communities within apps like Tinder, snapchat and instagram to name just a few.
The conversation itself then flows on into the ‘Freemium’ business model. This model took applications like Spotify & Fortnite to unimaginable heights, Why? because everybody likes free shit. The Freemium model is very interesting and shows how business’s are starting to innovate to our constantly changing psychology.

The big buzzword in Tech right now is ‘Virtual Reality’. We give a brief history of the technology and name the business’s at the forefront of its production. Educated speculation is also thrown out as to the possible functions VR could satisfy in society.
Moving into the last section of this weeks podcast we talk about how the gaming industry is beginning to tap into the educational power of video games. Stephen Howell, of Microsoft Ireland, visited DCU last year and Ben was in attendance. The Microsoft programmer alluded to the power video games have on the mind. He stressed how important it was to harness this power for educational purposes using examples like the popular Multiplatform game- Minecraft. We speak about this concept and the benefits it had on us in school through old computer games, and also how it could be modernised to change the way we think about learning.

Thanks for listening to this weeks conversation, enjoy.

Coopers MMA

We had the pleasure of Interviewing Keith Cooper and a fighter from his gym- Max Zamurakin. Keith runs a mixed martial arts gym out of Navan where he coaches various forms of combat. As an experienced coach, Keith had a lot of insight to share from both a sporting and societal perspective.

Max shed light on the fighters perspective of organised combat sport. He alluded to the work that goes into creating a fighter and the hours spent drilling when nobody is there except you and the coach.
The glamorous lens we see combat sports through as spectators is not reality. It’s a life of sacrifice, dedication, and above all, love for what you do. These guys definitely love what they do.