In an ad this week, Johnny Sexton spoke of how one's mind can wander when taking pots at goal.
Against Australia at the Aviva Stadium in November, he was lining up a kick when the sound of baby crying shifted his thoughts from his penalty kick to his own child. He missed the resultant kick.
Ronan O'Gara can empathise with the odd thoughts that pop into one's head before a kick.
And Burgers apparently used to loom large in his head.
Some days, it is just so easy; you’re in the zone, you don’t even notice there’s people looking at you. It feels like you’re in bed, dreaming. There’s times when I’ve thought about going for a burger in Hillbillys after a game while I’m lining up a kick, whereas other times you’d be thinking ‘the whole game comes down to this kick’ and you’re fully aware of everyone watching, which isn’t the right way to think about it either.
We are confident that this is a genuine insight and that Ronan is not being sponsored by Hillbilly's the way Lucozade used to get him to flaunt their products in post-match interviews. If this is more product placement we'll be so disappointed.
You can read the rest of the column here.
This is a common enough trait among sportsmen. Alex Ferguson, in his first (and much superior) autobiography, remarked about the strange things that run through a player's head during the match. For his final game of professional football (for Ayr United) Ferguson's entire career passed before his eyes in the style of a nostalgic documentary throughout the game.