by Jamie Heaslip

 

My greatest fear is failing to fulfil potential. I turned this “fear” into my primary motivation; to prepare meticulously for each and every game I played in. That meant lifestyle choices had to be made; this meant understanding the professional athlete’s existence cannot pause when I turn the key in the ignition after training.

My current state of mind is one of contentment. Sure, I’m on holidays!

I’m happiest whenever I overcome challenges. Or just spending time with family and friends.

My greatest achievement in life has been becoming a father.

If I could add any talent it would be speed… while playing anyway, you can never have enough pace! Thankfully I was cute enough to avoid getting badly exposed by smaller rugby men. Outside of sport, multiple languages.

If money’s no object, my favourite past time or occupation would be a dog friendly coffee shop (Dublin can always have more of them), with a 360 degree wellness centre beside it!

If I were to give any advice to a classroom of kids it would be my old man’s mantra: talent is nothing without discipline. Be the hardest worker in the room and you will never have any regrets.

Five Nations England vs Ireland 19/2/1994 Simon Geoghegan of Ireland on the attack ©INPHO/Allsport

Five Nations England vs Ireland 19/2/1994 Simon Geoghegan of Ireland on the attack ©INPHO/Allsport

As a kid, my sporting hero was Simon Geoghegan. The Ireland winger was this rare spark of attacking brilliance when Irish rugby struggled to win the big test matches. More recently, what Tom Brady keeps doing for the New England Patriots season upon season is astonishing. He’s 40 and still contesting Superbowls. He’s the GOAT.

AFC Divisional Playoff 12/1/2008 New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Getty Images

AFC Divisional Playoff 12/1/2008 New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady throws a pass Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Getty Images

If I could only listen to one song it would be anything by Oasis, Jay-Z or Drake and I am set.

My favourite place on the planet is home. Not easy to find but when you do it’s worth the wait.

 

Jamie,

May 2018

The Sports Chronicle brings you stories from the world of sport by the players, the coaches and the unsung heroes, all in their own words.

This all began with a contribution from Jamie Heaslip, one of the greatest servants to Irish rugby, with The End is Really The Beginning Part 1 and Part 2.

You can also check out our podcast. Subscribe today for more.

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