TBT: 2009 Learning Curve

Even though we won the All Ireland, it’s probably the one year I learnt most about myself.

That year I couldn’t get going, I was in and out of the team, eventually missing out on a starting place in the All Ireland Final. For me when I got my chance in 2004, It was something I prided myself on.

I’d do anything, play anywhere. With the starting jersey the be all & end all. That year I thought I was in good shape, I spent about 4 months at the start of the year with the focus purely on hypertrophy.

Looking back now it was crazy stuff.

My intentions were good, I went away with the idea that Kerry needed a blocker at No. 6
I packed on muscle, at one stage tipping just under 14 stone, I was pushing weights heavier than I had ever done before, benching something stupid like 92kg 10×10.

As the season went on the set backs kept happening, each time draining my energy on & off the field, I kept looking elsewhere, all the time trying to deal with everything myself.

After the season was done and the final won, that stopped, I spent the week with the team celebrating, then after that it was back to work.

My mentality changed.

I stopped the self pity, no excuses.

I started a plan and wrote down step by step how to take these set backs head on. I went away, unlike before, I started to get people involved, opening up on what I thought needed changing & listening to their ideas on how.

I looked at everything with any idea raised I pursued. With the support of everyone around me new ideas where born & an added energy was given to everything. Training became more enjoyable, the balance of work & football easier.

Training wise I had every angle covered, from mobility to recovery, corrective exercises to speed work. Everything was more balanced including my life outside of football.

Those few months, were probably the starting point of my love for all things health & fitness and understanding the benefits it can bring both mentally & physically.

Deep down it probably was the push I needed to pursuit further education in S&C and who knows without those bumps along the way, might not of given me the mentality to pursue my dreams.

Football wise unless injured I carried on playing for the next seven years, starting every championship game from then on, loving every minute of it.