Mental toughness is key in Dervla McGinn’s move between the posts for Kildare


AHEAD of next week’s college trials, Kildare’s goalkeeper Dervla McGinn faces another test on the pitch as she aims to win her first silverware at the county intermediates tomorrow.

He then refocuses on her studies, with Social Psychology exams starting Tuesday at NUI Maynooth.

Luckily, studying academically about psychology ensures that she is always able to master her own way of thinking and handle a busy schedule.

The mindset has always been a key part of McGinn’s makeup, even enabling her to transition from outfield to goalkeeping with Kildare a few years ago.

“The management we had at the time, Daniel Moynihan and Nioclas Mac Donnacha, they just asked me. They said you have this attribute and this attribute perfect to play in goals would you try? I thought why not, it’s a challenge,” McGinn said.

“We had lost two of our goalkeepers, we’ve been plagued with injuries on the goalkeeping front this year. So I thought, you know what, I will.

“And I enjoyed it, I really liked it. The training was different, you had to approach it so differently than an outfielder, but I just enjoyed it.

“And then the following season came along and Mary Hulgraine was back from a hiatus and I felt like I wanted to play outfield again. The following season I played outfield. Then last year I was approached again and asked if I would train as a goalkeeper and I did and since then I’ve been playing in goals and I’m having a great time.

“I really love it, it was very different.”

The 22-year-old Rathcoffey native had sure hands, was good under high balls and possessed a precise kick pass, but one of the most challenging aspects of her new position came from the skills she had honed over the years.

“It’s not even one of those skills that can be taught,” McGinn said.

“It’s more like realizing that if the ball lands in the back of the net, you have to get back up and do the next kickout.

“It’s more the mental toughness and the realization that what happened happened. You have to keep going, throwing the ball out and giving a good kick out and making sure your team can go to the long end and score.

“It was more that mental toughness than anything else.” Mental toughness is key in Dervla McGinn’s move between the posts for Kildare

Fry Electronics Team

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