Athlete: Lindsay Peat
How did you get into sport in the first place? What made you take it up?
- I fell into sport by chance, my mam didn’t want me idle during my summers. She had visions of me running the streets and getting into trouble so she sent me over to the local basketball team. Little did she know I guess what a happy and successful place she would be opening me up to.
I know you from the basketball court but you have since triumphed on the Gaelic pitch for Dublin and international territory for Irish rugby. What sport did your sporting career really start with and what made you choose that sport?
- Funnily enough my success in sport, for which I’m very honoured and proud, really and truly stemmed from what I learnt through my years of basketball. The coaches I was exposed to, the amazingly talented player’s I played against and just the challenges I faced prepared me for my tough but amazing journeys into the Gaelic and rugby Worlds.
What do you think is behind your progression from your initial starting point to now playing rugby for Ireland?
- Again I think the experience I had with basketball and GAA had a huge part to play. Sport has evolved so much from where I started to where I am now and I wouldn’t have been able to compete with this evolution to rugby without my exposure to strength and conditioning and nutrition programme with the various teams I was with and again I am so lucky and thankful to have been exposed to many talented and knowledgeable people. You have to not only be a skilled player but a finely tuned athlete in today’s modern world of elite sport.
When entering a new sport, aside from remembering rules and skills of course, does your mindset change at all? Or do you get into a particular state of mind that you can pull across each sport?
- No my mind set doesn’t really change overall I don’t feel. I can only be me and I have to buy into and believe in what I’m doing. I suppose I’m someone with a philosophy and the philosophy of me is to bring work rate, aggression and belief. After that I must couple what I bring as an athlete to what the game demands and the role I need to play in the overall game plan of the team. I feel that yes I have evolved in aspects of myself and my personality but obviously I have something that coaches see and that thankfully has stood to me.
Who is your inspiration?
- My main inspiration now is my family, my wife and my son. Taking time away from them really inspires me to be the best and make the most of everything I do in a sporting sense. On a sporting level as regard’s those players who inspired me, I have had many. I grew up wanting to be many of the players I got to play with. My main inspiration would have been Denise Walsh, Susan Moran – the list of basketball women I could list here is endless tbh. Even now the players I play against inspire me to be better and it’s the one thing that tells me I’m not ready to hang up any boots yet.
What is your greatest sporting achievement? (I know this one will be a tough one for you so you can have more than one if you want!:) )
- Hahaha…THANK YOU!! I suppose dancing on the podium in Croke Park lifting the Brendan Martin Cup in my beloved Dublin Jersey will always be a very standout moment for me but also the first time I played for Ireland in basketball and getting to play in rugby World Cup. They are all very proud and standout moments for me. I truly am blessed.
What is your current sporting goal and how do you plan to go about getting it?
- I think this one is a tough one as I think I’m at a cross roads a little due to decisions we need to make as a family but my goal would be to play for Ireland in the next six nations 2018 but that’s still very much undecided.
Aside from your sporting achievements and athletic ability, do you think there are any attributes you have acquired over the years from sport, that benefit you in your life outside of sport?
- Yes absolutely. I have learned to believe in myself and not be afraid to fail. I’ve failed many times in sport but I’ve also won so much and done things no one else could even dream of yet I never always had that in me for my life outside of sport. Now I give things a try whether that’s standing up in front of 2,000 students in the convention centre giving a motivational talk or going for an interview. I need to try things and push the boat out and not be afraid to fail and to learn. I also can only ever be me that’s not to say I don’t need to continue to improve or be a better version of me but being me is ok.
How have you learned to manage juggling work and playing at such a competitive level? Is there anything you struggle with the most?
- A Diary. It’s been the best and yet simplest tool. Just having to go through what’s on each week from a family point and obviously to include training; talks; media; work. I never struggled that much really when I was single but since getting married and having a baby it’s very hard to juggle everything in life, very hard at times but we’ve managed so far and that’s all down to the patience of my wife, my family and my friends.
Have you had to sacrifice a lot to be where you are? Is there anything you would change?
- Yes I have but at the same time I can’t play sport for ever and the opportunities are limited and you have to take them while they are there. I’ve sacrificed a lot of special times with my family and friends and missed out on some very special occasions. If I could change anything it would be to have more time to fit everything in and if women got paid for sport that would be amazing!
In your opinion, what does it mean to be part of a team?
- To be part of a team is to be like part of a family. Obviously you won’t like all members of your family the same lol! But you need to have each other’s back no matter what. You are spending so much time together; working so hard you have to love what you do and the people you’re doing it – it just means so much more then. Michael Jordan famously said that “Talent wins games but teamwork and intelligence wins Championships”.
Is there any other sports you would like to try and should we expect to see you in a different kit soon enough?
- Hahaha! I would love to try boxing I really would but if I was to ever do it, it would be on a very amateur and fun basis!!
What’s your advice to the younger Lindsay?
- Hmmm…..very good question. I think the problem with the younger Lindsay is from memory is no matter what advice you’d give her she probably wouldn’t listen anyway!! If she did though I just tell her to drive on for what she wants it’ll all work out – what’s meant for you won’t pass you!
What’s your advice to someone who has never played a sport before and is considering, picking one up?
- DO IT!! Port for me has been my happy place, my sanctuary, my driving force but that’s how we connected and it just happened to progress on to the higher echelons but to me Sport is for everyone. Keep trying every sport till you find one you like and once it makes you happy and you’re enjoying it, anything on top such as winning etc is a bonus. Sport makes me feel good both mentally and physically and once I’m in that happy place and have that happy balance I can take on anything. It’s one of the best therapy’s out there.
If there is anything you would like to add? If so, please share below.
- Just to thank everyone who has helped and supported me along the way especially my wife, my parents who are amazing, my sisters, my in-laws, my friends, coaches, fellow players, my clubs, just everyone. I couldn’t have done it without all of their help. To anyone who needs advice and I can lend a hand I’m more than happy to help. And finally Sport is amazing give it a try and especially from the girls side of things please, please, please give it a try and if not as a player there are plenty more roles within Sport that are just as enjoyable. There is a window right now to propel Women’s Sport Worldwide and I just hope all of the organisations who are involved with Women’s Sports here in our great country take advantage of that otherwise we’ll be left behind and we’ll seriously miss out. That’s from the ground right up to International level.