THERE was a lot of unpack from this weekend’s All-Ireland quarter-finals. From the efficient Dubs disposing of Cork to the one-legged Clifford guiding Kerry past Mayo. Then there was the match of the year contender between Armagh and Galway, never mind the controversy. You could spend hours picking the bones of that one.
But here, in the Retired Players Corner we are going to look at the boys from Derry. Not only did they emphatically pop the balloon suggesting they might not be able to handle the hot favourites tag but with the manner of the performance they displayed on the hallowed turf of Croke Park they firmly inserted themselves into the ‘who’s taking Sam home?’ conversation.
So how does a team that hasn’t been on the Championship radar for the best part of 20 years suddenly find itself being a fair few peoples’ tips for All-Ireland glory?
Well, the first thing is that it wasn’t sudden. It began with the appointment of Rory Gallagher. Not just the appointment but the full, unwavering support of a man with crystal clear values and desire to create an environment which enables the players within it to fulfil their potential.
I’m sure you’ve read and heard all the same interviews with the players that I have. The recurring theme and accepted narrative is that these boys would run through walls for Gallagher. That he’s a cult leader figure, leading his men to battle. I’d argue the opposite. It isn’t the cult of Gallagher that’s allowed Derry to find form this summer. It’s the culture he’s helped build.
Sure, they’d run through brick walls but what’s less spoken about is I’ve no doubt he would do the same for them. He was in the middle of the warm-up on Saturday. Pushing the tempo of the drills. Keeping the boys sharp, focused and ready to hit the ground running.
A great leader creates leaders and you can see that this particular group is full of leaders. It’s full of personality. Full of passion and full of purpose. From top to bottom, there’s buy-in to how things should be done and willingness to go all in on it.
In the 14 days prior to the weekend’s game, the Derry panel spent 13 of them in each other’s company in some capacity. And it showed. It’s going to take something special to burst the bubble Gallagher and his team have created.
What about your bubble? Would it take much to burst it? Are the right people inside it?
Have you got the environment in place that will give you the best chance to find success? You might not be playing for Sam Maguire but you’re still working towards something.
It might be to get in better shape. To become fitter. To get a promotion at work or start a new business. Whatever it is, having the right environment around you is a difference maker when it comes to optimising your output.
Quick environmental audit to run over the next week –
1. The five people you interact with the most: Are they radiators (energy givers) or drains (energy takers)?
2. Are the three things that are currently most important to you (could be your own physical fitness, time with your partner or kids, building your business) the three things you’re giving the most time, energy and attention to?
3. Do you have a distraction free work, play, train and think space? Or is there always someone or something trying to pull your attention elsewhere?
Tell me, are your answers aligned with the results you’re trying to achieve or is it obvious why you aren’t moving towards where you want to go?
Optimise your environment and give yourself the best chance you can to achieve something you’ll be proud of!
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