The winners of the U14 Division 1 County Championship, as well as the U13 Division 2 Champions, were presented with medals by 2018 County Minor midfielder, Jack Carney, in the Kilmeena G.A.A. Clubhouse in December. Jack followed the presentation with an inspirational talk to the group that any player from the Club should be inspired to hear. Below is the full context of his discourse:
Firstly, I’d like to thank all management including Gav (Michael Gavin), Mossy (Tómas Gill) and Mike (Slattery). I’d also like to congratulate the U14s on being crowned Division 1 County Champions and the U13s on recently winning Division 2. At your age I never had the opportunity of playing in division 1 – this just shows the talent we currently have in the Club at underage levels and the quality of management that guide ye along the way.
I’d like to share a few things that worked for me and got me to where I am today which I feel would be of benefit to ye going forward;
At your stage in your footballing career, it is most important never to forget the importance of enjoying the game and having fun.
It’s important to challenge yourself constantly and always to strive to do better. If you’re the best on your team, strive to be the best in your Club and County. In football, your comfort zone isn’t ever where you want to be. If you find yourself in a position where you feel unchallenged work harder and create challenges for yourself.
Writing down my goals was something I found hugely motivational. Setting specific and attainable goals for yourself is essential. Crossing your goals off the list as you achieve them is massively satisfying and motivating, building massive confidence in your ability. These goals can be short term or long term. Short-term goals can be as simple as improving and developing a particular skill over the period of a month. Long-term goals might be aiming to make the county team in the coming season. Finally, and often most importantly, setting a team goal at the beginning of each year can have a hugely positive impact on the team as all players are focused on achieving a mutual goal.
We have everything in this club that young men like yourselves need to play at the highest level, the kicking wall to develop your ball handling skills, the gym for flexibility and strength and also incredibly helpful backroom staff (management and medical staff) to improve your overall game.
As a 14-year-old, I went on my first development programme which consisted of basic stretches and strength exercises. To this day, I still use the schedule, and I can’t stress enough the importance of developing your flexibility and skill set as you move forward.
Finally, as John Reilly often says, “Always focus on ABC” – ATTITUDE, BELIEF and CONFIDENCE. 95% of your success will come from a positive attitude. Your own attitude hugely influences your personal performance and the team’s performance. If someone has a poor attitude on your team, always ask what’s wrong and aim to help them to change to a more positive attitude.
Once again, I’d like to thank the Kilmeena Legend, Michael Gavin, Big Man, Mossy Gill and Mike Slattery, for inviting me down this evening. I wish ye all the best of luck in the future, and if ever you need anything I’d be happy to help. Thank you.