Ronan O'Gara explains the difference between good players and great players 5 years ago

Ronan O'Gara explains the difference between good players and great players

Why do some athletes reach a certain level, while others surpass them?


How can one sports star outclass 99% of the other competitors in their field, yet still get consistently beaten by a few rivals who consistently outperform them?

What's the difference between a great athlete and a good one at the highest level?

As Ronan O'Gara explained on SportsJOE Live, he believes motivation plays a massive part in someone fulfilling their true potential and getting the edge over their challengers.

"They're the fine margins between good and great players. The guys that are able to keep their hunger levels high enough without the manager coming at them to drive it to another level.

"In Irish sport in teams that I've played in, we were always better when the fear factor was there. So nearly coming off a loss or a defeat because of the fear of underperforming or leaving down your public, your supporters, going down to Thomond Park and having an empty performance. If you win six games on the trot, a lot of players weren't capable of driving it to a new level for the seventh game."


When asked what was the most effective motivational technique that got the best out of his performances, O'Gara admitted it changed depending on what stage he was at.

"There's different stages of a career. I think as a young player, you need to be arm around most definitely, and told you're great when you know you're not, but you have to fool yourself into thinking there isn't a player better than you. The reality is, there is."

"Then as you get to 30, you kind of need to be stoked a bit. There's a young fella coming up here and he's going to take your place and you're saying to yourself, 'No chance! (laughs)"

O'Gara cracked up early, but host Colm Parkinson added the punchline, "...and his name is Johnny Sexton!" The Irish rugby legend composed himself to punctuate his original point.


"I don't think any of the really good players worry about the external factors. They have incredible drive. That's either in you or it's not in you."

Check it out in episode four of SportsJOE Live from about the 14:45 mark.