Sport Scholarship athlete Kevin Dooney who is part of Raheny Shamrock AC talks sport and how he balances sport and his post graduate studies at WIT
Name: Kevin Dooney
Club: Raheny Shamrock AC
Course: MSc Applied Sports and Exercise Psychology
Highest achievements to date?
2018 All Ireland Cross Country Champion, 26th 2018 European Cross Country Championships, NCAA Cross Country All American - 2014, National Champion 10,000m and Half Marathon – 2017.
What is your favourite memory from your sporting career so far?
Winning the All Ireland Cross Country in 2018 - I had come second the year before and missed much of the middle of 2018 through injury so to come back and win the National Cross Country in November was particularly memorable.
What is your personal aim this year?
Qualify for European Track Championships in Paris in August. Come top 15 at European Cross Country in Dublin in December.
Who was your sporting idol growing up?
My parents and brother, knowing that everyone else in my family was capable of running at an international level gave me the belief that ultimately I could do it too.
How do you prepare for each event?
Training week in week out so that I am in the best position come race day. The training can be monotonous at times but it is a simple matter of building the miles over the weeks that leads to good performances.
What advice would you give to athletes wanting to improve?
Consistency is key. It is better to be consistently undertrained than overtrained just once and run the risk of picking up an injury. Training does have to be hard, but there is no point being the fittest man in the doctor’s office (Dunleavy, 2019).
What do you do to relax/unwind?
I do a lot of reading to relax. I read 52 books last year and am trying to do the same again this year. Otherwise I also go to Cabinteely matches on a Friday night to relax and see friends.
How do you balance work/college/training?
It is all about time management and knowing what is coming up. I have to know when races and college deadlines are and plan ahead. If a race and assignment clash I need to make sure the work is completed in advance so I can fully focus on performing on race day.
What was the best advice you were ever given?
“The pain will be worth it” - Dick Hooper.
Do you get nervous before big races/competitions and if so how do you deal with it?
Of course, it is a natural reaction to getting ready to compete. It is all a matter of reminding yourself of the work that has been done to get you to that place. Once you are on the startline your fitness is set so it is only a matter of producing whatever that is. It won’t always be where you want it to be but you have to overcome that to get the most out of yourself on the days that matter.
About the Sports Scholarship Programme at WIT
Offers an athlete-led development programme aimed at supporting the overall development of high performance athletes in a wide range of sports. The programme gives talented athletes the opportunity to develop their sporting and academic career by offering a network of support services and expertise which is tailored around the specific needs of each individual athlete.