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How "mental toughness" fueled Leinster's 2011 Heineken Cup comeback

Enda McNulty recalls the steps that led Leinster to the holy grail against the odds

How "mental toughness" fueled Leinster's 2011 Heineken Cup comeback image
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Raf Diallo
20:48 Tuesday 3 December 2013

Listen to the full interview with Enda via the podcast

It's not often that you become nostalgic about a match that took place just two years ago.

But Leinster's Heineken Cup double-header against Northampton Saints has drawn the memory back to the 2011 final between the two teams when Leinster came from 22 - 6 down at half-time to triumphy by an astonishing 33 - 22 scoreline.

Enda McNulty, who is a performance excellence coach and the Managing Director of Motiv8, has been involved with Leinster over the past few years.

He was working with them when they managed that comeback against the odds, and tonight he told Off The Ball that mental toughness played the biggest role in driving Leinster on to an unlikely win.

"It was the most incredible comeback I have ever witnessed in any sporting occasion. Leinster sowed the seeds for that success in 08/09 and particularly after that big victory over Munster. From then to the present day, Leinster have built a huge mental toughness. That was not developed the week before the Northampton final. I firmly believe it was formed and forged from 08/09 onwards.

"The vehicle for building that was the quality of the strength and conditioning and the quality of the training sessions. They started to add scenarios in training so the team could remain calm and composed under pressure. They also improved their mental preparation so that whatever scenario arose, they could remain comfortable and composed in the white heat of battle."

 ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

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