Following up from our previous post this is Introduction - Part 2 of our Strength & Conditioning for GAA Athletes blog series to help you find your strengths and weaknesses and set off-season training goals.
In this blog, I write about the differences between the Lunge, Pick-up, how the Dynamic System Theory relates to your overall sports performance and what strength & conditioning myths need to be forgotten so we can develop athletes that are faster, more agile and less likely to get injured.
Lunge vs Pick-up
An example I use all the time when talking to underage coaches is the relationship between the Lunge and pick in Hurling or Football. The Lunge is a Fundamental Movement, it needs stability and coordination to be done well. It is remarkable how poor kids are at performing a lunge these days. But it’s not just kids, I see it with County Development players, adults and athletes alike.
But think about the pick-up in Gaelic Football, a Fundamental Skill, the pick-up is a lunge with a ball and task of scooping up ball with your foot added in. So logically we know if the athletes’ (Organism, person, biological being) lunge is not solid and stable then obviously the addition of picking a ball (task) and opposition players and a heavy pitch (environment) will be significantly more difficult. This is seen every Saturday & Sunday morning on GAA fields throughout Ireland.
Dynamic Systems Theory
What I just described is essentially a description of the Dynamic Systems Theory in action. This theory proposes that movement is produced from the interaction of multiple sub-systems within the person, task and environment (Thelen, 1989). This series is about off-season preparation for Gaelic Games of Hurling, Football and Camogie. However just a basic acknowledgement and rudimentary understanding of this theory will immediately change your outlook on coaching and development, whether you are developing yourself or a team.
So if we move well, which is essentially what S&C is all about, we will be more injury resilient, faster, more agile and critically more skillful athletes.
There are many mistruths or myths about Strength & Conditioning. Here are a few uniquely Irish/GAA ones;
Have you got questions or not sure how to start your off-season strength and conditioning plan? Feel free to get in touch!