Enda McNulty reveals how he's helping Man United stay on top of the mental skills game

Renowned sports psychologist also speaks to Pat Kenny about the Germany-Italy penalty shootout

When it comes to the art of sports psychology, ex-Armagh All-Ireland winner Enda McNulty is one of the foremost thinkers in the game.

Indeed Brian O'Driscoll once told Off The Ball how McNulty helped him at a challenging point in his own career.

Now, Manchester United have been availing of his expertise as McNulty explained on The Pat Kenny Show.

"The head of performance at Man United is a guy called Tony Strudwick. I was lucky to meet him about five years ago and we're basically collaborating with Tony in terms of what they're doing with the underage players so you can build mental skills at a very early age," he said, before touching on the importance of building strong mental strength early.

"And that's the whole key to building mental skills at an early age, let's say 10 years of age instead of 22-23 years of age at the Euros or perhaps at Wimbledon."

McNulty also spoke about the penalty shootout between Germany and Italy in the Euro 2016 quarter-final which saw both sides miss regularly and badly - all the more surprising as Germany have a good shootout record.

"When the pressure descends on the players and when they mentally lose focus, they take their eye off the ball and they start to think about playing with the mind of the goalkeeper, it's very easy to miss a penalty. So psychologically the guy has got a little bit hijacked by the pressure, by the occasion and the enormity of the occasion." 

Listen to the full interview via the podcast player: