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The sporting spectacle

It’s sometimes nice to take a step back as a strength and conditioning coach and just watch some sport and appreciate it purely as a fan. I was at Aintree for the grand national and it was an awesome spectacle. I know the death of 2 horses has prompted a big response in the press (I wasn’t aware of this until Sunday) but putting that to one side, a somewhat flippant move I admit, the excitement and atmosphere at the course were superb and the intensity of the racing when viewed live is incredible. But that wasn’t the only big sporting occasion to be watched over the weekend and I decided to fill my boots.

There were 2 tense quarter finals in the Heineken cup involving English clubs, the second grand prix of the season, the masters golf and I also managed to squeeze in watching most of a local colts rugby semi final. Instead of being impressed by the physical aspects and characteristics of the contests, it was the more general sporting concepts I was taken by. The drama of the masters and the contrast between the euphoria of Charl Schwartzel and the unravelling of Rory McIlroy, the commitment  of the Leinster and Northampton teams and the driving masterclass of Sebastian Vettel over the whole weekend. The stand out moment was at the local rugby game though.

For one of the teams, if they lost the game that would be the end of the season and their last game together as a squad. One of the substitutes mentioned wanting to win because he didn’t want that game to be his last with the team. It wasn’t getting to the final to win the competition that was at the front of his mind, it was staying together with his mates. That was the motivation and I thought it was great to hear because that’s what being part of a team is about. If that environment exists and that’s a driver for everyone, then you can’t go too far wrong, the bad days won’t seem too bad and the good days you have together will be truly memorable.

Neil Welch

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