Written by Iarla Muldoon
Strength and Conditioning coaches have become a necessity in every GAA team nowadays. Not just at inter-county level, but all the way down to club teams.
In the last two seasons, Galway and Limerick have won All-Ireland championships after lengthy droughts. Both teams’ physiques have been impressive and they have simply looked superior to most other teams in the championships when it comes to conditioning and physicality.
On Friday morning’s OTB AM, Clare's Jamesie O’Connor discussed this new trend and how it has come about in recent years, through a lot of planning and acute programmes.
"You can’t but be impressed by the physique of the Limerick squad," O'Connor stated after watching one of the inter-county stars in Aaron Gillane performing during Mary I's run to the Fitzgibbon Cup final.
"It’s not a one year plan. It’s a three, four, five year plan.
"They’re probably in year three or year four of these programmes and you can certainly see the gains they’re making year on year."
So is this a turning point in our game? Will other teams be following the likes of Galway and Limerick and get bigger and bigger year on year?
We’ve seen this in other sports, for example in rugby, bulking and getting as strong a possible became the aim for a lot of players, only for them to realise it hinders them in other areas such as speed, agility and ability overall ability.
So will this happen in hurling too? By the end of these four or five year plans will it end up hindering counties chances of winning an All-Ireland?
By the looks of Limerick and Galway so far this year, it’s safe to say it hasn’t yet impacted them negatively.