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Pádraig O’Hora explains how he succeeds as a footballer who doesn’t watch sport

Pádraig O'Hora

Pádraig O’Hora has a love for Gaelic football, but admitted that he never sits down to watch any sport unless asked to do video analysis.

Now a key player for Mayo, O’Hora didn’t pay much attention to the trials and tribulations of his county’s senior football team before he got onto the panel.

The Ballina man took a keen interest in a wide variety of sports in his younger years, and actually preferred basketball for quite some time, although O’Hora never got any enjoyment out of sitting down and watching others play.

Speaking at the launch of the Allianz Leagues, O’Hora admitted that he wasn’t familiar with many of the players on Mayo’s senior football panel when he first got called up.

Pádraig O’Hora on his lack of interest in watching football.

“I don’t watch football really, at all. I don’t watch sport at all to be honest. I am a doer. I’d sooner just be out doing something active,” O’Hora admitted.

“I would play any sport in the world – anything. I’d play badminton if it was going – whatever – long before I’d sit down to watch a game. That is just my nature.

“I loved a load of sports – martial arts, boxing, basketball, Gaelic, I wasn’t great at soccer – I had a spin at that, I wasn’t great. I’ve done most sports – a lot of outdoor stuff, but always pursued the football and basketball predominantly.

“The first time I went into the Mayo team I didn’t know a lot of their names. I remember getting mixed up between Keith Higgins and Colm Boyle.

“I had a little bit of anxiety nearly over not knowing who people were, obviously I assumed they assume I know who they are. An awful sentence that. I didn’t really know everybody in the dressing room when I went into the team.”

The Ballina man isn’t one for overanalysing.

Some players will do plenty of research on the opposition before coming up against them in a game and video analysis is now done by every inter-county team in the country.

While O’Hora will take part in video analysis during team meetings, he admitted that he doesn’t do any homework in his own free time.

“Everybody does it their own way, don’t they? Some people want to know everything and anything. That works for them. I don’t like to fill my time that way. I don’t find it valuable,” O’Hora said.

“In hindsight when you have a great performance you say, ‘I got it right, I’m doing the right thing by not over analysing.’

“Then you go out another day, get roasted, and you’re saying, ‘Maybe if I did pay a bit more attention or if I did analyse things that might not have happened.’ You know yourself, it is subject to success. That is just how I go about my business.

“I think video analysis is part of every inter-county team now, even at club level we do a bit. Nothing mental, but we do a bit. It is hard to argue, I’m not against it, but I wouldn’t dwell on it too much.

“Is there benefits to checking out things that happened or a pattern of play? I’m sure there is, definitely valuable bits like that. If we are doing them as a team, 100 per cent I’ll be involved.

“Just on a personal side I wouldn’t go away from the team work and have to do extra homework on players. That just wouldn’t be my vibe.”

Pádraig O’Hora is very grateful to play for Mayo.

While O’Hora didn’t follow Mayo closely as a supporter before earning a place on the team, he is very grateful for the opportunity to represent his county.

“It’s class, I love it. It was never the be all, end all for me. I wasn’t a kid that had it stuck up on the wall growing up. I wouldn’t say I was that person but I’ve always wanted to achieve on a personal level I suppose,” explained.

“I’ve also done individual sports like boxing, but there’s nothing quite like collective success. There’s nothing really like bringing a win with a team; that energy that’s created and buzz.

“When you magnify that to the level of even playing for Ballina, I’m extremely proud of playing for Ballina Stephenites. I love playing for my club and then it’s on a bigger level when you step into inter-county and play for Mayo.

“This wonderful county with such history, such quality and then you’re fortunate enough to put on the jersey. I’m grateful for it. I just really enjoy it, it’s class, more than you expect from it even.”

Pictured is Mayo footballer, Padraig O’Hora, and Kerry footballer, Paul Geaney, at the launch of the Allianz Leagues, which return this weekend. The beginning of the Allianz Leagues represents the dawning of new possibilities for the season ahead, with the Allianz Leagues standings determining which counties will compete for the Sam Maguire and Tailteann Cups.

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