Report from Eimear Duffy ,Sarah Burns and Orlaith Keane from the Ladies B team who attended the GAA Players Conference in Croke Park on Saturday the 17th of February on behalf of the Ladies Football section.
Eamonn O’Shea, the former Tipperary manager, gave a great opening talk. He addressed the conference on the characteristics of a good player and on the importance of having a good club ethos. He mentioned that every player contributes to a club, whether it be by simply turning up to training in bad weather or by coaching underage teams, etc.
We were then split into groups where there were workshops specific to either ladies or mens football. We discussed interesting topics such as player welfare, mental health, good nutrition, player welfare and good communication. There was a great mix in our group from all over the country– club players, county players, managers and coaches. The discussions were really insightful and it was interesting to hear other people’s point of view.
Following on from this, we had a really interesting talk from two researchers about injury prevention. We learnt about the new warm-up being implemented in the GAA – ‘GAA15’, which is believed to activate all key muscles and thus, reduce injury risk during matches/training. It was interesting to hear about exercises such as squats and lunges being used in warm-ups, which traditionally wouldn’t have been used, and even more interesting to recognise that components of our warm-up are features of the ‘GAA15’.
A nutrition talk was given by Dr Crionna Tobin, which mainly focused on busting common nutrition myths. Dr Tobin discussed interesting relevant issues such as what foods/drinks to consume pre-match and during a match to prevent fatigue, the importance of good hydration and how alcohol delays recovery and stumps muscle growth. She spoke about the importance of eating carbohydrates on days leading up to games, and protein (~20-25g per meal) in the recovery phase.
The conference was excellent overall, and we all really enjoyed the day.