Waiting to Launch

The Untapped Global Potential of Gaelic Games

GAA Player Burnout “Overstated”

Posted on January 27th, 2015 by Admin

Kieran McGeeney refutes the claim that inter-county players are being driven like slaves. “The more you tell people the truth, the less they want to print it,” he says. Wiser words were never spoken.

McGeeney reminds us that people who participate in other amateur sports will train a lot more than a GAA player. I can attest to that, as someone who used to be a competitive cyclist. In my “heyday” I would be out on the road every night and in all weathers for several hours at a time, a three-hour ride would be needed at minimum. Then on weekends you’d do long hauls on a Saturday (60 miles, ish) plus the club Sunday run which could be anything up to 80 miles or more.

Every waking moment you’d be in the game, watching what you eat, getting as much carbs in as you can at every opportunity. You’d come in in the evening and have the cycling gear laid out and ready to jump into so you can hit the road and maximize your time out in daylight. No time for dinner, you’d have a high carb snack at around 4:00pm. You don’t get time for dinner until after 9:00 and it’s usually a big plate of pasta because you’re burning the fuel off so quick.

You’d work on a three-week cycle, i.e. two weeks on and one week off. “Off” doesn’t mean sitting in the house, you still have to go out and ride, but you just don’t go as far or as hard. No alcohol all summer during the racing season. None. By the time you clean and maintain your bike there’s not much time for anything else, so it really does take over your life. And I never once felt hard done by, nobody pressured me into it, it was a choice and I got a lot of pleasure from it. This is the whole point of amateur sport. Amateur. From the Latin amator, lover of. We do it for the love of the sport.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 at 5:43 am and is filed under Burnout, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.