Tuesday night past in St Mark`s was the first night back for our club coaches in preparation for the start of our underage season and the 2nd season of the “Club Athletic Development Programme”.

Coaches were firstly introduced to some ball games with a difference, by Conor Keenan. These games were all designed to compliment “Fundamental Movement Skills” & were coached in such a way that those taking part wouldn’t even think they had just completed a skill drill, as they were distracted with game play. The fundamentals of hip hinge, squatting and lunging were all catered for.

The “ABCs” (Agility, Balance, Coordination) were then covered with a simple drill involving tennis ball throwing, which also incorporated an advanced squat with “Uni Lateral squatting” but again disguised in a game.

Mike Barnett, then picked the pace up with the 1st “Energy System Development” (ESD) covering aerobic capacity. The coaches were now getting in their stride and seeing what the young people would be covering in their 1st session. Mike complimented the session with a few variables to give coaches a few ideas to think outside the box and explained the importance of picking up the intensity in the last minute.

Sean O’Hare, our senior “stats” man, then took us through a few core exercises and had coaches discovering why we should do such exercises on a regular basis. A great activity incorporating a ball & requiring good technique followed, that once finished, allowed the mind to tune in to exactly what the body had just completed. Coaches may have been feeling the effects in areas of the body that hadn’t seen this amount of activity for some time!

Liam Howlett then took a Lower Body (LB) conditioning session, consisting of squats, lunges and bench step ups. This was delivered as 5 sets of 5-15 reps, with the focus always on quality, above speed. Technique outshone quantity, with our coaches nailing this. Between each station coaches completed a bear crawl with technique and form being the primary focus over speed.

Throughout the night all coaches gave a mammoth effort in completing all components of flexibility, sprinting mechanics, agility, Olympic weightlifting, exploring triple extension capability and plyometrics in a 2hr session.

The GCD committee would like to thank chairpersons of sections and all the coaches who turned out, to make sure when our kids turn up next season, they have the first 6 weeks of the season ready to kick off with an “Injury Prevention” style of training. This key component of strength and conditioning is often put to one side, but if “Functional Movement” is poor, in later years our young people may encounter issues, should they choose to push on with their athletic development & start loading.