The key to success on and off the pitch
To best handle the demands of working a full-time job and playing Gaelic football for Dublin finding a balance between each obligation is pivotal.
Work is so important when competing at a high level of amateur sport because it provides an income, but playing for Dublin is a great privilege so combining the two is of the utmost importance to me. The key, above all else, is to ensure that I am managing my time properly.
The night before working days which include training sessions, I make sure to take note of the most important tasks I must address the following day. The benefit of doing this is twofold. Firstly, I can go to bed with a clear mind and secondly, when I wake, I’m ready to attack the day fully aware of my most pressing priorities.
Having been involved in the Dublin set-up for over a decade, I’ve noticed a significant shift in preparation and recovery methods during that period. Now, more than ever before, recovery is of the utmost importance. After training sessions or matches on a Sunday, you must also factor in time to go to swimming pool, the sea or an ice-bath.
Ensuring maximum muscle recovery is an integral part of maintaining optimum performance over the course of a season. I truly believe that anybody can benefit from incorporating some form of recovery protocols as mentioned above into their weekly schedules. Aside from helping weary muscles recover it also provides an escape for the daily demands.
Competing in such a demanding sporting environment can also dovetail appropriately with your professional commitments. Outside of the self-confidence that be gained, having a lifestyle which incorporates exercise, a healthy diet and rest sharpens you mentally and boosts energy levels leading to improved performance on all fronts.
To have the two aspects of your life truly complement each other, you need the full support of those around you whether that be your family, work colleagues or the Dublin management team. Thankfully all three are very aware of the time pressure that a busy life can bring, for that I am very grateful.
For anybody with time constraints, be they from family, work or sport I would encourage you to develop a system of planning that works for the individual, you will find that it leads to a better organised day and most importantly freedom of mind to concentrate on your most important daily tasks.