November 2009 was a rainy month. Most of Galway was so wet that it was submerged. I left NUIG one Friday night in November and headed for Slaigo. A journey that took about 4 hours after many back roads and detours. Knowing what was ahead on arrival did not make the journey any easier.

evin Walsh had a proven pre-season template. Friday night in November meant a soft back pitch for Curry GAA and a 4x1km run, followed by a finish time roll call.

Fortunately, this night, floodlights quickly failed our first gallop.

Happy days, the home of the sofa, escaped from the harsh cold. or . .. .. Keep warm for a few minutes in small corners while the key to the pitch of the Taber Curry GAA Club is secured. Twenty minutes later, we got in the car and embarked on a 10-minute journey to resume the session. Surprisingly, it was neither warm nor humid.

“To win only once
That’s enough. “

On such nights, cling to a mass of comfort for a little short-term motivation. Given that the Whistle Man did more for Thor Doctors and his Galway brothers, there was a better chorus to repeat.

“Their wish is to win only once.”

With 15 Tailteann Cup teams and 8 Sam Maguire teams now out of action in 2022, many players’ thoughts are directed towards the 2023 season. A powerful pre-season with lots of dark November nights is at the forefront of these ideas.

So what happens next?

The answer to this is probably the difference between a county that maximizes its resources (progressive county) and a county that is willing to meander (drifting counties) dreaming of a better day.

“I never thought about losing
As if winning was at your choice. “

From the middle to the middle of the last decade, a small, high-performance band from the football county has worked together. For the purposes of this article, these are referred to as progressive counties. Some were pacesetters. Others responded by leveraging a large number of supporters to bring together the financial and human resources needed to respond to the withdrawal. A few people have shown some innovations.

Bands in this progressive county include Dublin, Mayo, Kelly, Tyrone, Donegal, Roscommon, Monaghan, Claregalway, Gallway and Mayo. Membership in this elite is not always noble. Some were late given the population they were bestowed on and the history of GAA.

Some of these counties are endowed with the foresight to make process-oriented changes to ensure sustainable progress. Watch Dublin appoint John Costello as Chief Executive Officer and act outside the political minefields of the county committee’s official duties.

Others were lucky enough to appoint transformative people who set the necessary standards. See Jim McGuinness in Donegal or Colm Collins in Claire. Progress that depends on this person is not very sustainable.

“For those who feel guilty and denervated”

In most cases, include all other counties in the “Drift County” category. In most cases, we ban unachieved, bizarre, exceptional results and temporary outliers such as Kieran McGeeney’s Kildare (see also Unsustainable Human-led Changes above). ..

This is a rough overview, ignoring some of the most recently put into action, such as Delhi. Various groups. From large counties with great traditions to small counties that are constantly struggling, it’s not in the last decade.

“So all your full-time little town heroes will come
Throw away the fear of your inbreeding
Stand out from everything else
Ironic and pessimist “

What happens in the majority of the drifting counties after the end of the championship? There is nothing at first. Radio prayer. “Young people need space,” some suggest lazy. This is bad.

First consider the important equations. Roughly speaking, set their season from January to June.

Variable 1: Duration = 6 months. Players who haven’t been developed efficiently for the last six months may be exposed to lower levels of coaching than players in progressive counties.

Variable 2: Coaching standard (x).

Duration (6) x Coaching Criteria (x) = Individual and Team Performance (6x)

Second, you may complain about the future of management. The drifting county committee may be happy to leave this as it is and be free to do it. They don’t have to worry about it, and perhaps the cost of recruiting replacements. The player returns to the club. Drifting county club equipment may not be organized in a way that maximizes the game and ensures high standards to improve current and future intercountry players.

In September or October, management will be appointed or reappointed. The club season is quite advanced. Missed a four-month opportunity to identify new talents and work to improve complexity with the current team.

In most cases, players have no essential motivation to look for, pay for, and perform their summer S & C work. Necessary work in addition to standard club training.

This means that the 6 months of S & C work up to June will be lost during the relatively few training of 3-5 months. The next preseason will be spent catching up with the progress lost from June.

A typical player in Drift County is about the same player who was a player in the previous season and returns to the pre-season match. Sprint until you stop.

“Exposing your soul for everyone to find
Honest heart, open heart “

What happens in Progressive County? The week after the championship ends, the players and the team in the back room will meet. The analysis of the end-of-season game is complete and all opportunities for improvement are captured reliably. Open-minded management shows the idea of ​​growth by asking all players to complete the end-of-season survey. This collects positive and, importantly, negative feedback from all players and gives everyone a say. These improvement opportunities are summarized and an action list is identified.

Now briefly consider the above equation. Except that the variable is a large number.

Duration (8) x Coaching Criteria (x2) = Individual and Team Performance (8×2)

And players are already starting with a higher base.

If management is advanced, a progressive county committee will ensure that players have at least access to S & C advice. The on-the-fly management team ensures that all players are given custom S & C, tactical, and skill aspects to work with the club session.

Potential club players will be contacted to work on some of these aspects to make sure they are ready if given a chance in the inter-county team later that year. Management divides resources to participate in all club games wherever possible, ensuring that hidden gems, personal dips, or novel tactical approaches are returned to the county’s knowledge bank. increase.

As with high interest rate bank accounts, players are ready to come back before the season and improve the physical, technical and tactical advances achieved in the previous season in a complex way.

The effect of this combination cannot be underestimated for the development of players and teams, and is evident in the small elite who have evolved in Gaelic football.

“Time will pass, so please
Then, in the face of the ball, the game begins. “

Now, as a game, Gaelic football must face the reality that the above scenario has been occurring for over a decade. At both ends. Extreme progress and extreme drift.

Next, we question why there is a huge growing gap in the standards between teams and players. This goes back to the vibrant period of noughties for comparison, before a few counties actually set up their homes. Fermana, Louth and Limerick played in the finals and Wexford played in the All-Ireland Semifinals when Leish, West Meath and Sligo all won state titles.

Winning only once is by no means sufficient for any intercountry player. This is indisputable. But if adopted by all stakeholders in the county, it is a good short-term mantra that will help ensure a fairer game and local championships in the future.

For many county committee officials, the mantra unknowingly became “only once”.

Play all club games, keep your finances down, and worry about the growth of the game and securing a vibrant future for your supporters and players.

* * * * *

as a side note. A few weeks ago, I talked about the fun gained from male / female apportionment of responsibility for the first poor hurling game regarding the lack of atmosphere in a half-packed Croke Park.

Last weekend, when one of Harling’s greatest supporters, Tommy Walsh, assigned responsibility for the slump in the quarterfinals at Sarris due to the fact that the match took place on Saturday instead of Sunday. Had to laugh.

Top class herring propaganda. He also gets a very valuable bualadhbos for his Love Island / Haring Quarter Final Analogy in the pre-game buildup.

PS: I don’t mention throwing men / women about the fact that a quarter of Croke Park created two great soccer games last weekend. I don’t mention Tommy Walsh. And many of the greatest GAA games in recent history are Saturday soccer games. Soccer requires Tommy Walsh.

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