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Gordon D'Arcy Hits Back At Joe Brolly Over Attack On Enda McNulty

Gordon D'Arcy Hits Back At Joe Brolly Over Attack On Enda McNulty
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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In an enticingly titled Sunday Indepdendent column - 'Mindfulness gurus put my bullshitometer in overdrive' - Joe Brolly laid into the self-help guru culture which has began to pervade sport in recent years.

Brolly does not buy into the craze and in particular the 'doyen' of the self-help industry Deepak Chopra. The Indian American author has made millions from penning books on the subject.

Once done with Chopra, Brolly directed his ire a little closer to home. Enda McNulty - the former Armagh footballer and current performance coach with Leinster - came in for criticism.

The Derryman found particular amusement in reading through some of McNulty's recent tweets.

Our self-help gurus are all devotees of Chopra. Perhaps the most famous of these at the moment is Enda McNulty. I checked his tweets this morning (@Enda_McNulty), as they never fail to put a smile on my face: "Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you." There is a quote from Bruce Lee: "The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus." Then there is a quote from Enda himself: "Your I Can is much more important than your IQ." I'd like to see him try out that theory on University Challenge. On a daily basis, The Oracle at Enda provides us with captivating insights: "As I read and draw breath in a Dublin café . . . I reflect that your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development." Might I retort Enda? As I read and draw breath in my kitchen . . . I reflect that I have absolutely no idea what the f*** you are talking about.

Obviously, Brolly does not subscribe to the advice and help which McNulty provides to sports stars along with corporate organisations.

Two individuals who do believe in the work of McNulty are Gordon D'Arcy and Trevor Hogan, both worked with him at Leinster.


Speaking on Off The Ball's Sunday paper review, D'Arcy defended McNulty and said that he took 'particular offence' to Brolly's commentary.

I was enjoying it a little bit in the beginning, it was light hearted. That whole mindfulness game can prey on people who are just looking for something and will jump onto anything. I always laugh when I see people reading a book 'Think Yourself Wealthy' and things like that. That's a very specific part of the market.

The rest of it is obviously a man who has never had a conversation with anybody who has worked with Enda McNulty or has never had a conversation with Enda McNulty. Enda is about team development and working for each other.

Your peak performance is a thing that Joe Brolly should know about from his playing days and watching it [GAA] now. When I worked with Enda it was all about replicating your best games, how do you play at your best to be a better professional a better rugby player.

To put him into this league [with Chopra]; I would actually take particular offence on Enda's behalf on this one.

Both thought it unfair to criticise the sports psychologist on the basis of his tweets.


Read: Cork Camogie Star Ashling Thompson Detailed The Abhorrent Verbal Abuse She Has Suffered During Games

Hogan picked out one in particular to explain the thinking behind it while also concluding that Brolly was wrong to conflate McNulty's guidance with that of Deepak Chopra.

There is one of Enda's tweets that he picks out where he says 'Success rarely exceeds your personal development' and he's kind of saying 'What the hell do you mean there, Enda?'

It's pretty clear what that means. Your own personal development is not a wishy-washy thing, you need to develop as a person which will be the basis for any success, no matter what you do. So I think that's a valid tweet.

He's kind of lumped that in with some of the empty stuff from Chopra.

D'Arcy explained in some detail how McNulty had help him personally during his Leinster career.

When he came in, I personally felt that I needed something to kick on. I had to reinvent myself around two or three times as a player. Around 2008/2009, I started meeting with Enda and having chats with him. I suppose that changed my mentality in rugby and he was a massive, massive help for me.

Then into my 30s when I had to change my game away from what I had been good at and I had to be good at another skill; he was very good with that.

Coming back from my broken arm - so I had a year out and did a lot of mental rehearsal with him because I had to be able to play rugby when I got the all clear. He was fantastic.

The skills that he brought across, bringing in that steely mentality and then lads playing for each other - that was massive. Lads playing for that singular goal, everybody going in the right direction. It brought some pretty impressive results.

Hogan also related his positive experience of working with McNulty.

Enda, he connects with the person themselves and he's able to explore what they need. With me, in particular - I was a completely different scale of player to Gordon - but he was able to realise that I was a quite a negative person. I focused on my weaknesses and I would beat myself up over certain aspects of my game.

It sounds very simple but he would be able to twist that around and block it all out and make you focus on what you're good at and what you're strong at.

That's not empty meaningless, mindfulness. There's a tangible thing, what he does there.

It's kind of personal, there's something in the backround there for Brolly to go after him.

Picture credit: Sportsfile

You can listen to Off The Ball's Sunday paper review in full below.

Watch: Brilliant Enda McNulty Video About What Makes Leaders In Sport And Life



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