Dublin's Cian O'Sullivan on key championship reforms he'd ask for

All Ireland winner discusses the edge mindfulness gives

Dublin, Cian O'Sullivan, GAA

Dublin's Cian O’Sullivan celebrates after the game ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Dublin centre back Cian O'Sullivan has spoken of the benefits of practising mindfulness for the All Ireland winners.

The three time All Ireland winner and two time All Star was speaking to Off The Ball as inter-county sides start looking ahead to the 2017 championship.

"You see a lot of teams doing it these days," said O'Sullivan of the concept of practising mindfulness within the Dublin panel.

"You do your yoga and a big part of yoga is your mindfulness. It teaches you to try and stay in the moment and be present and we have a gameplan going into every game.

"So trying to directly relate how that looks on the pitch then, if you ship two early goals, you don't panic, you press the rest button, you have your trigger or whatever it is to refocus you and re-based you back into the game.

"You see different guys with words written on their sleeves and stuff like that. Other guys will pick up a piece of grass and throw it and just go 'that play is over'. Personally I don't have a physical thing that I do. I just recognise that we're up against it here, let's just stick to what we set out to do and don't panic because that's where the whole thing breaks down if guys start going on solo runs." 

O'Sullivan also spoke about having a balance in life, explaining that football is not an obsession for him.

"I love playing football but I recognise that there are other aspects of my life that are equally important," he said.

"You have the three glass balls. You have your family and friends and then you have your work life as well and football is an amateur sport. But if it ended tomorrow, I've always been very mindful that I need a career there and going into college and doing my exams and stuff."

One hot topic in the GAA at present is the issue of championship reforms as they pertain to both the club and inter-county player.

O'Sullivan set out the changes he would like to see, "The things I would ask for is primarily, No 1 an off-season for everybody - club players and county players - because issues of burnouts and just mentally guys getting sick of playing football for 15 months in a row is just not fair on anyone and needless.

"Secondly, there needs to be a defined season for the club players. So the championship needs to be reformed in a three or four month period, whatever it takes, and then the league can be set aside for the time when the county stuff is going on."