Article written for the Irish S&C Network (irishscnetwork.com)
So, if you believe you need to improve your aerobic conditioning this off-season, it may only take a couple of nights of dedication. Don’t let time slip by without taking advantage of it.
There are many, many variables that influence sports performance. Lower body fat percentages or body weight will not necessarily always influence performance positively. The same goes for increased muscle mass.
Even the sceptics amongst us, who believe that there is no point in training our GAA athletes to reach higher top speeds, would not argue with us that making the correct decision and executing the necessary skill, as quickly as possible, is one of the most advantageous aspects of performance in sport.
So even if the ultimate outcome doesn’t go our way, but we’ve given our best in the face of adversity, there should be some element of our psyche that is grateful for the loss.
Now given that I am a S&C coach, as well as a skills coach, I may be extremely biassed, but I do believe that we should have a well thought out level of progression when it comes to all of our skills and coaching.
Unfortunately, we’re not playing Playstation. We cannot control our athletes’ decisions in the moment, but maybe that’s a good thing. That’s why when it does come together and the athletes achieve success, it’s a much more powerful feeling of accomplishment than taking Accrington Stanley to the Champions League final on FIFA 22.
The team is there to take ownership of the process and hold each other accountable to the mutually agreed upon standards. It is in this environment that the importance of a culture of brutal honesty must be accepted universally.
We see this time and time again, when athletes are asked who has had the biggest impact on their careers. They typically reflect back on their experiences at youth level and the coaches that helped them develop a love for their sport.
As you progress in your years in the industry, what you will learn is that there can be value in almost everything that is done. What there is no value in doing is discounting alternative approaches without first thinking critically about your own.