Meticulous preparation and taking note of what is and isn’t helping his all-round game is helping Andrew Conway to continually improve as a rugby player.
The Munster winger has finally locked down a consistent starting role in the Ireland team and has played every minute of the Six Nations campaign after the opening two rounds.
The 20-times capped international was speaking to OTB AM and explained how keeping a journal centred around his performances has helped him in his career.
“A journal’s a good way to describe it. I got into that probably about three years ago and it’s changed over a period of time.
“At the moment I have a few affirmations that I write down what I’ll be keeping to myself. They’re something that kind of reinforce what I think and what I am as a player and where I want to be.
“They also make me quite accountable for my preparation. If I’m not preparing at a level that is not 100 per cent then when I go to write that down in the evening, you’d feel like a bit of a fraud.
“So there’s that side of things. Then you write down a bit of reflection on how you’re feeling and what’s been going well and what you’ve done well that day,” Conway said.
‘I was overdoing it and it became a chore’
While Conway believes that his journaling has helped his career, he did admit that he had become too focused on analysing his performances in the recent past.
“On Wednesday we have an off day so I’d take it easy on that day and on Sunday I wouldn’t do anything either. You take your little break there. Last season I was doing it seven days a week.
“I went back to look at it recently over Christmas and I’d actually not done anything for about three months from about February through to May last season and that’s just because I was over doing it and it became a chore.
“Now I’ve got a nice balance of getting a bit of work done but also not going over the top. You can see trends when you go back and look at of what games I played on any given weekend of how my language was leading into that game.
“[I looked at] if there any specific things I’d been saying that ended up being really positive and that reflected on the performance. There are a few bits and pieces like that which I stumbled into over the years that helped me,” Conway explained.
The Ireland winger certainly seems to have gotten the right balance of things at the moment after putting in a great shift in the bonus-point win over the Welsh.
Andy Farrell will be hoping Conway can maintain his current impressive form as Ireland play England at Twickenham on Sunday, 23rd February in the third round of the Six Nations.