Whether training or during competition, staying well hydrated is important to both the mental and physical aspects of performance. Drinking little and often is the standard recommendation, whilst the colour of urine (pee) is used to monitor hydration during the day. Urine should be pale/clear in colour; if it is yellow/dark then it is likely you will begin exercise whilst dehydrated and this will adversely affect performance.
Rest & recovery are just as important to ensure performance is maximised as the training sessions themselves. Adequate sleep is critical for proper recovery and players should aim to get at least 7-8 hours sleep every night. This is particularly important for amateur athletes who don’t have the luxury of the recovery periods/ days available to professional athletes.
~ Go to bed early without any technology
~ A bedtime routine relaxes the body getting it ready for sleep
~ Sleep in a dark room
~ Don’t drink caffeinated beverages after lunchtime
~ Too much fluid intake after training is one of the biggest disturbances of sleep; reduce your intake so you get an uninterrupted night’s sleep but ensure you are fully hydrated for the start of your next exercise session
~ Catch up on lost sleep by taking catnaps during the day
The understanding of the physical fitness requirements of Gaelic games has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. Both Hurling and Gaelic football are games that require players to perform repeated short quick movements, moving in multiple directions and from a variety of starting positions, with varying amounts of recovery.