JONNY KELLY: Five things to do during the off-season

The GAA season is coming to a close in most counties. Unless you are lucky enough to have won the county championship, it is now time to rest and recharge.

But many of you will be wondering what to do between now and the next pre-season.

These are the 5 things so you should consider before training starts again in 2022:

1. Take a break

It is important to allow your body and mind time to recover from a long intense season.

How long is too long to rest? Research has indicated that endurance and speed is affected after a two week rest.

However, these losses are quickly regained after two weeks of training again. Other research has indicated that strength is maintained three weeks after complete rest but will start to decline after four weeks.

2. Try a different sport

A change is as good as a rest. Maybe you enjoy training and don’t want to take your foot off the pedal.

If that’s the case, you could try something different like swimming, cycling and running.

3. Maintain a healthy weight

Less activity during the off-season means it is easy to gain weight.

This may happen if you continue to eat the same amount as if the season was in full-swing.

Keep an eye on your calories using a calorie tracker app or consult a Sports Nutritionist.

4. Analyse the past season

Take note of what went well and what didn’t go so well in your performances. Could you have trained better? Could you have recovered better between sessions through sleep, hydration and nutrition?

Are there areas in your performances that need worked on? This could be in the form of skills, speed, strength, and tactical knowledge.

Make a plan of how you are going to maintain the positives and how you are going to improve upon your weaknesses.

5. Hit the gym

After you have had a good rest, it would be time to start thinking about preparing physically for pre-season.

During the playing season, it is difficult to incorporate gym sessions alongside pitch work.

Use the off-season to build strength and muscle mass while you have the time and energy to do so. This would also be a good opportunity to work on past niggles and injuries, so that they do not occur during the season.

Common injuries in Gaelic sport include hamstring strains, groin, knee and ankle injuries.

This will ensure a good foundation of fitness in time for pre-season.

The off-season

Use the off-season as an opportunity to rest and recharge the batteries.

The body and mind will be fatigued from a long intense season. If you enjoy training and don’t want to stop, try another sport. Also consider starting gym work to build strength and fix past injuries.

Are you frustrated with injury?

Physio Performance is a leading Sports Injury and Physiotherapy Clinic in Belfast.

We have helped get world-class athletes back on the pitch, and performing at their best.

Contact us for a complimentary Sports Injury Consultation at

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