Ruby Walsh reveals the reasons behind never needing a sports psychologist
Ruby Walsh has been speaking out about his illustrious career and has outlined the differences he sees between himself and legendary jockey A.P McCoy.
Two of the most recognisable faces when it comes to Irish racing, they have won all there is to win, multiple times over.
Forever keen competitors, but always good friends the two men shared the field on many occasions.
Since McCoy's retirement a lot has been made of the subsequent documentary that was released surrounding his career and his obsessive nature towards racing, to the point that it completely consumed his entire life and affected his personal relationships.
He struggled with the prospect of his impending retirement.
Paddy Power racing ambassador Walsh has been speaking about McCoy, and says the main difference between the pair comes down to the environment that they grew up in.
"I always saw things a little bit differently than AP. I am a trainers son and probably understood the game better. I knew before I started that there was going to be more loses than wins. I've always felt lucky to be in the position I'm in and I know that day will come to an end. How I'll be when it's over? I don't know, and I don't know how you prepare for that."
Walsh also highlights his family environment as the reasoning behind never needing to indulge in a sports psychologist. In fact, the Kildare man believes he could teach the sports psychologists something.
"No. But I think I could teach a sports psychologist a couple of tricks! I have a great support network in my wife, my father and my friends and I always had an advantage over a lot of my colleagues in that I was a trainers son. I always knew that losing was racing."
Another Irish sporting icon who seemingly never needed a sports psychologist was rugby international Ronan O'Gara. Described by former team mate Alan Quinlan as an unofficial psychologist, O'Gara's attention to detail and single-mindedness set him apart from the rest.
Walsh has described the former Munster out-half as the most competitive person he has come across.
"He never shirked a challenge. He was a pretty average tackler, yet he would stand out in front of some of the biggest players that would come down his channel. He had ice in his veins when it came to taking penalties and he's a terrible loser. He could man up straight after a performance and say where he was wrong and what should have been done better. He never basked in glory. He was selfish and focused and stuck rigidly to practising. He didn't give an inch, and had all of the attributes that a top athlete needs."
It is not hard to see why Ruby Walsh has been so successful in his field, having close ties to two of Ireland's greatest sporting heroes in McCoy and O'Gara is bound to inspire any athlete.