Mustering self-belief is half the battle for Tipperary and Cavan this weekend 3 months ago

Mustering self-belief is half the battle for Tipperary and Cavan this weekend

"In my experience playing for Laois, I believed that I could win a game, even though everything is telling you that you can't."

Last year both Cavan and Tipperary defied the odds and defied logic, winning their provincial titles despite being recognised as weaker teams in their respective regions.

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However, neither seem to have brought that form into 2021, with both being relegated to the lowest divisions in their league campaigns. With Cavan set to play Tyrone and Tipperary up against Kerry this weekend, it doesn't look good for the Breffni or the Tipp men.

Both are potentially suffering from a hangover of their own successes, in the sense that they put so much effort into that one campaign, they can't muster it up again.

Or, it could be argued that these two sides now have a full understanding of what belief can do for them, and how they can turn things around when their backs are against the wall.

Speaking on the GAA Hour, Colm Parkinson was discussing just how important it is to have self-belief when facing these supposedly superior teams.

"Kerry are obviously playing Tipperary this weekend, and Conor Sweeney has been talking in the media about belief.

"Let's be honest, Tipperary are going in against Kerry and nobody is going to give them a chance, and what are the Tipperary lads thinking?

"He's saying 'A lot of teams before they play top teams are probably beaten before they even take the field. We have a job to do mentally to prepare ourselves for what's coming, we need to drive home the message that we believe in what we're doing at training and believe that we can compete against them.'

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"In my experience playing for Laois, I believed that I could win a game, even though everything is telling you that you can't, you just simply have to believe.

"The problem is after 10 minutes when you're six points down."

Former Dublin star, Ger Brennan was also on the show and although he obviously played with a county that was very successful, he admitted that going up against the odds is something that every player has to face at some stage.

"You're always going into a game with a bit of hope and we've all been underdogs at one time or another.

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"There is that bit of belief that if we just get stuck in, get a feel of the ball nice and early and ask questions of the opposition, we will be in the game.

"But the evidence will suggest that Tipperary aren't in a great place, they were relegated to Division Four. I think Conor Sweeney is bringing a light and awareness to the reality of a Division Three or Four team playing against a higher opposition.

"They might feel defeated or five or six points down before a ball is thrown in, so bringing awareness to it is the first port of call and they know themselves as a group of players that they haven't backed up the success of last year.

"They will want to get a good performance out of themselves, but realistically it's hard to see them asking too many questions of Kerry."

You can listen to the full discussion on the GAA Hour now

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