Students on Smácht (SOS) is a half day workshop on the 9th Jan 2016 NUIG. This workshop is for Senior, Secondary School Students: TY, 5th yr and 6th yr. SOS is specifically designed to equip students with the skills they need to realise their Leaving Cert Potential. Topics will include: Motivation, Procrastination, Goal Setting, Nutrition, Exercise, Study Plans, Progress Tracking, Mind Mapping and much more.

Venue: NUI Galway
Date: Saturday, 9th January 2016
Time: 9.00 -13.00
9.00-9.30: Registration
Cost: €80.00 early bird 1st December
€110.00 normal ticket

The Real Challenge of Your Leaving Certificate.

Sitting the Leaving Certificate is daunting enough in itself.

Performing to your very best potential and astounding yourself and your family and friends is even more challenging again.

That’s why we created Students on Smácht (SOS).


To Give You Every Chance of Performing to Your Potential In Your Leaving Certificate Examination And Becoming The Person You Are Capable of Becoming.


Hey there,

My name is Pádraic Ó Máille, Founder of The Smácht Academy and bestselling Author of The Midas Power and Rocking Horse Sh*t. I have helped many of Ireland’s leading business people, sports people and politicians to realise more of their potential through a unique psychological process called Smácht. Many of them went from being ordinary people to becoming famous household names simply by mastering the skills you can learn on SOS.

Recently I’ve partnered with not just a qualified and professional B. Ed, but a teacher who has a proven record of getting extraordinary results with her students. Róisín Ní Dhonnabháin gets accelerated learning like no other teacher I know. In addition, we have identified an elite and dynamic team of teachers, physical trainers, dieticians, career guidance counsellors and psychologists to create a truly awesome programme for Students preparing for the Leaving Cert.

The reason I’ve done this is because I failed in my own Leaving Cert.

I’d worked as a porter in my local hospital and would have loved to have become a doctor. But love is not a strategy, and the bottom line was that I failed to acquire sufficient points in my Leaving to get into medicine.

I wasn’t the only one. Four of my best buddies didn’t either. Yet, they’re all Doctors today. How come?

They choose to respond to failure differently to me.

My response to my Leaving results was that I was stupid, incompetent and lazy. (Interestingly I’d also been told this by some of my teachers and had inadvertently come to believe this. You’ll learn about filtering out this negative dialogue on SOS.)

Not so my buddies. They choose to believe and think about themselves and their results differently. Whereas I dimly saw failure they clearly saw other options and  opportunities. Somewhere along the line they had developed a better ATTITUDE.

Two of them repeated the Leaving with ‘Attitude’ and got the required results. Another did a B.Sc and did medicine after. The fourth went to England where there are different points requirements and is now a gifted Obstetrician in Ðerby.

I dearly wished I’d known about ‘Attitude’ back then.


So What then is SOS?

SOS is a half-day workshop for Senior Secondary School Students –  Transition Year, 5th Year and 6th Year.

It is a unique and dynamic workshop that will prepare you for, what many students see as their biggest challenge, The Leaving Certificate Examination.


What Will Be Covered and Why?

The workshop is based on the unique Smácht ‘MEPAS’ Model. MEPAS is an acronym for:

  • Mental.
  • Emotional.
  • Physical.
  • Academic
  • Smácht.

When I did my Leaving way back in 1979 your ability to do well depended on what the best minds of the day called IQ, or Intellectual Quotient. The ominous thing about IQ was that it was fixed and not capable of being changed.

In the mid 80s, a revolutionary new way of thinking about the ingredients of success was popularised by a psychologist called Dan Goleman, called Emotional Quotient or EQ. In his iconic book ‘Emotional Intelligence’ he proves conclusively that EQ is critical to success at all levels including as a student. And the great news about EQ is that it can be learned.

SOS will show you how.


Expect to learn…………..

  • That not all actions have equal impact. Some activities have infinitely more potency than others. Learning this one mindset – called The Pareto Principle, or 80:20 Rule – can save you massive time by focusing on the right activities to focus on. This applies to both study techniques and exam techniques. It even applies to sporting techniques. Jordan Spieth is a classic example of someone who masters the 20% of golf practices that generate him 80% of his results. He has identified that success at golf is hugely contingent on being an outstanding Putter. Jordan doesn’t faff around doing dozens of things a day. He focuses laser like on his putting. Speith doesn’t just put 10 times a day, or a hundred times, or five hundred times. He putts 1000 times a day.
  • That you can’t hit a target you can’t see. Clear goals greatly accelerate the power of your subconscious mind to help you achieve what you want. Learn the 5 secrets of effective goal setting and apply them to every aspect of your life – for the rest of your life.
  • That a goal without a plan is merely a wish. Discover the 5 components of effective project management that will enable you plan back from your desired outcome by allocating time for everything.
  • The exact same technique that Michael Phelps used (his Mother actually learned it from his coach) to transform him from being a good swimmer to being the world’s greatest Olympian. You can use this before and during every exam you ever take.
  • That positive thinking isn’t just hype. It’s real. Winners are not necessarily natural positive thinkers but they have all learned to harness the power of positive thinking. As a general rule people receive exactly what they expect to receive. This applies to your Leaving results too.
  • That a fit body equals a fit mind. The Harvard Health Letter, May, 2014, states that studies have shown that parts of the brain that control thinking and memory have greater volume in people that exercise versus people that don’t exercise. Learn a bunch of core exercises that will ensure your metabolism fires for you when you need it most. In addition, learn from former Salthill and Galway footballer, Eoin O’Donnellan, some of the mind sets that he used in clacking Salthill to become All Ireland Club Football Champions.
  • That diet has a massive impact on your mental, emotional and physical attitude. More importantly, learn from Sinead Bradbury, camogie player supreme and a qualified nutritionist, the impact that certain foods have on your metabolism. Studies done with a county football team some years ago showed that simple changes in diet led to massive changes in results.
  • That rest and sleep are equally if not more important than continuous and futile swotting. Learn some simple mindfulness techniques to ensure you sleep better.
  • That failure and problems and setbacks all have a secret meaning and power – provided you know how to recognise them. Learn a simple 5 step problem solving process that you can use to solve any problem. I used this exact technique to great effect recently when I was beset by a life threatening disease and open heart surgery.
  • The principles of Accelerated Learning. Have you ever noticed the power of young kids to absorb massive amounts of information easily and effortlessly? It used amaze me how kids from the Gaeltacht areas were fluent in Irish and English by the age of four and would then struggle to learn French or German poorly over a six year period in secondary school, taught by professional teachers. The difference was in the way they learned.
  • That it isn’t what you know that is as important as how you convey it. Sadly, thousands of Leaving Cert students work really hard, and have the information but fail to convey it on the day of the exam. Learn one mental technique that greatly enhances your ability to think on your feet and respond with clarity and structure on paper.
  • That you have an ‘Emotional Bank Account’ similar to a bank account. This EBA explains to a large degree why on seemingly random occasions we feel awesome and on other occasions, for no particular reason, we feel awful. Learning to identify how your parents, your teachers and your friends deposit and withdraw from this account could have a massive impact on the outcome of your Leaving.
  • The Power of Smácht. When you think about it, every baby that’s ever walked or talked or learned to tie their shoe has demonstrated discipline and resilience. If they hadn’t, none of us would ever have walked or talked or learned to tie our shoes. Babies have inbuilt discipline. They don’t even realise they have it. I don’t know about you but I developed an aversion to the word ‘discipline’ before I was 10. Somehow, it felt like hard work to me, and I’m lazy as sin. And then two things happened. I discovered that, like a baby, you only require discipline for a short period until it becomes a habit. The key is to identify those core group of skills, techniques and routines that you need to make habitual so you don’t even have to stew or think about them. And, the Irish word for discipline is ‘smacht.’ It sounds much better. We have added a magic sine fada to ‘Smácht’ because Smácht is much more than a word. It’s a mindset, a philosophy, a methodology and a habit. Just ask Jordan Spieth. His middle name is Smácht.


Who is it for?

TRANSITION YEAR STUDENTS: This year you have a year out from the exam cycle. You are gaining valuable work-experience, working with those less fortunate and participating in projects that utilises your many talents and skills.

This is a perfect opportunity for you to get your ‘ Game Plan ‘ in place for your next big challenge. You will have the  ‘Smacht Edge ‘ and be Ready and Steady to start your Study next September.


5th YEAR STUDENTs: By January you will have one term completed. By then you will have a fair idea of what’s working for you and what’s not. (or maybe you won’t). Perhaps you are disappointed with your Christmas Test Results.

The SOS Workshop could not come at a better time for you.THE SMACHT, ‘READY, STEADY, STUDY ‘ PLAN  will be invaluable to you and if you choose, will help you reach your top potential.


LEAVING CERT STUDENTS: Whats in this for you? You might feel you have wasted a lot of time and are loosing confidence in your ability to achieve your goals. First of all ; DON’T PANIC ! If you commit to the WHOLE approach of THE SMACHT ‘ READY STEADY STUDY ‘ PLAN
it could be the ‘ re-boot ‘ you just need.


When’s it on; Where; How Much; and How Do You Get On It?

It’s on January 9th, 2016 in N.U.I.G. The Early Bird Offer is €80 and you can pay at



There’s a cracking line in ‘Fairy Tale of New York’ where Shane McGowan boasts to Kirsty McColl that:

‘I could have been someone.’

Visibly unimpressed, she replies abruptly:

‘And so could anyone.’

And so it is with life and the Leaving Cert and you.

The reality is that nowadays you can almost be or do or have almost anything you set your mind on.

Sadly, your performance may not always match your potential.

Sometimes you don’t put the effort in and get what you deserve. Other times, however, you do all it seems in your power to do well but you blank on the day or the right questions don’t come up or simply your luck just runs out.

Don’t leave your potential to chance. Take action now and reserve your place before they are sold out.

I look forward to helping you become the person you always wanted to become.

All you need is Smácht.


Pádraic Ó Máille.
The Smácht Academy,
58 Dominick Street,

Phone: 091-865340


PS. FREE BONUS. Róisín, being the consummate ‘Múinteoir’, has insisted that every student will receive their own SOS SMACHT , ‘READY, STEADY, STUDY’ WORKBOOK / MANUAL . This will be used for their own Goal- Setting and other exercises. The Work – Book will also have nutritional , food advice and  exercise plans . It will provide Templates for a Study Plan and Progress Tracker and summaries of all the topics covered.

PPS. The Theatre seats 200 students. In order to reserve your place please book now on

PPPS. For a free article called 7 Common Mistakes Even Smart Students Make That Prevent Them Realising their Full Potential In Their Leaving Certificate. By Pádraic Ó Máille and Róisín Ní Dhonnabháin Go to

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