Switching On in the Off-Season

#GAA Season over, feet up, nights out, take-aways in. Nothing wrong with it really – but there is a benefit to having some balance this off-season towards better future performance.

Consider your next pre-season is only 8-10 weeks away. Notwithstanding that the majority of players are not professional and therefore should not be held to the same standards (or even a form of mock-professionalism) there is perhaps a window now to use wisely with regard to lowering your future injury risk. It’s worth noting that soft-tissue injury rates in GAA are high as are re-injury rates. Not only this but you can also be looking towards developing your performance incrementally year-on-year. If everyone on a team took the notion of effecting a small improvement then the overall effect would be impressive.

So what should players be looking towards over the coming 8-10 weeks??

Dipping into the philosophies behind our programs such as Ready-to-Perform and Return-to-Play it’s clear that we need to isolate a small number of priorities. Then really work to understand what we need to focus on, how we meet these needs in the most appropriate way and then monitor our work for effectiveness.

Better Performance?? Then Control the Controllable….

For example, you may choose to really focus on areas such as

  • Movement competence – where do we need to address and improve in key platforms such as mobility, stability, bi-lateral ability, flexibility and then movement technique. Perhaps look towards an automated movement screening solution such as AnaMoLIVE
  • Strength and power development – examine and learn about strength and power expression in relation to your sport
  • Sports Skills – developing sports skills in a gym setting?? for real? quite simple really with some imagination. Take your rest periods for example – can you add in some skill work e.g. hand-passing a football off the wall with your weaker hand or with a partner?? How many skilled repetitions could you achieve over 30 sessions in 10 weeks? Thousands maybe?
  • Acceleration and speed – a function of well-planned strength, power and ply work coupled with appropriate acceleration training. Add in some work focusing on change of direction and you build higher efficiency levels to support higher on-field effectiveness.

Better Performance?? Little and often

You will be really surprised what a mind-set of ‘little and often’ can achieve – not only in terms of lowering future injury risk but also with a view to being ready to train come the start of pre-season.

Success is all about many great preparation habits compounding – the flip-side is also true – shortcuts will be your undoing. Call out the shortcuts, decide on the appropriate habits that will deliver for you and then go about making them happen – simple!

Switching on for the off-season is simple but not easy – Take the lead today from our “Ready To Perform” template with these seven simple steps

1. Decide what’s important for you – on your own and/or with another objective viewpoint

2. Source the expertise that will help – perhaps check out a program such as ‘Ready to Perform’ or check out some new innovations e.g. AnaMoLIVE Movement Screening

3. Identify the 2-3 key areas you will focus on

4. Identify Targets

5. Monitor your work for effectiveness – reward your small wins

6. Persist over barriers – overcome or outweigh

7. Enjoy the process – if you are not enjoying it revisit why you are doing it and what you are doing!

For more detail on how the Match-Fit philosophies have been working for players and athletes in Ireland, UK and beyond mail me now at paul@matchfitireland.com or call on +353 86 8595155

Your performance will thank you!

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Paul Clarke

Since 2002 Paul has developed a reputation for expertise in the vital performance-related areas of coaching, S&C, sports science and performance analysis. Teams, clubs, organisations, coaches and players from Ireland, UK, Europe and beyond have benefitted from the insights offered by the Match-Fit business as a result of the tailored and customised approach taken to creating a performance solution specific to each client. Through keeping performance and the player at the heart of all solutions, Match-Fit clients have realised that the solutions delivered not only benefit competitive performance but also the club/organisation as a complete sporting business entity.

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