Ronnie O’Sullivan’s Childhood Demons
Several sportsmen and women have spoken recently about how turbulent family and community events from their childhood have affected their psychology.
In the absorbing and, at times, emotionally challenging Unbreakable, Ronnie O’Sullivan shares the reality and brutality of reaching the top.
Ronnie’s co-writer, Tom Fordyce, unravels the “psychology of performance” within an insightful prologue relevant to any readers active in sport or business.
As the authors highlight, everything is routine when you play well: “It’s instinctive; you’re in control”.
Everything comes together and is going to plan – it’s a beautiful feeling. However, the insight they give when performances slump and the “wheels are coming off” is absorbing!
Ronnie’s openness regarding a bad miss and the panic it can cause emphasizes that an obsession with perfection can be self-destructive. The key is to ignore self-doubt and “just get on with it”.
In a team game, colleagues reduce the sensation of isolation individual performers experience. As a solo operator, Ronnie has to shoulder all the blame when he is beaten and finds playing badly or “losing the crowd” challenging.
A notable feature of the book is when O’Sullivan opens up regarding his addictions to alcohol and drugs. A key factor in his recovery was going into rehabilitation in 2001 and following a 12-step programme.
A Frank Insight
Ronnie O’Sullivan has given a frank insight into his career as a troubled “teenage prodigy” who developed the determination to make it to the top.
This book is an excellent guide for all individuals, particularly those experiencing periods of self-doubt in sport, work or life, and who seek guidance on strategies “to overcome their demons”.
A good read!
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Evidence shows that families are responding to climate change and the increased costs of long-haul vacations by seeking active holidays and breaks closer to home.
Visitors to Eryri (Snowdonia) have increased and these visitors wish to know more about the area’s industrial and cultural heritage.
In the excellently researched and illustrated Snowdonia Slate, Des Marshall unravels the background of slate mines, quarries and communities around the Snowdonia National Park (Parc Cenedlaethol Eryri). The slate quarrying areas of Eryri created towns such as Llanberis, Bethesda, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Bangor.
The author is concerned that the quarrymen’s toil and economic and work-related hardships have been forgotten.
He highlights how tourism has become the new driver of the Snowdonia economy with the Zip World range of activity attractions alongside tourist centres and slate museums.
Des’s awareness of the importance of Welsh culture, language, and non-conformist chapels as the historical base of the tight-knit communities shines through.
The author has structured the text into nine key areas, including Nantlle, Cwm Pennant and Blaenau Ffestiniog. The outstanding range of photographs complements the excellent text and brings each area to life.
The views and descriptions of Dinorwig, The Dorothea Quarry Pool, the Tramway, Cwm Pennant and Chwarel y Penrhyn
provide a sense of awe and wonder.
The Pennant Family
The history of the Pennant family, the owners of Chwarel y Penrhyn, highlights how the English aristocracy treated Welsh slate workers as peasant slaves.
The scars of the hardship that the families endured as they challenged the Pennantsy. The family showed a complete lack of concern for the health and safety of workers. It provided poor wages and had a disdain for the Welsh language.
This is an excellent pocketbook. It will stimulate historical knowledge and social awareness of the hardships and struggles workers endured to promote the wealth of the slate quarry owners.