A FEW funny things can happen your training when you stop playing football. For one, you could pack in going to the gym altogether. You were only training to be in good shape for kicking ball, right? It was a bit of a slog too, so the green light to step away…deadly.
Unfortunately that path generally leads you down one where your shirts start getting tighter and your mood gets a little gloomier – exercise gives you those feel good endorphins, you’re used to them and now you’re not getting them so you’re not getting those natural highs.
Plus you’re not used to being “out of shape”, and that can be hugely frustrating in itself.
Path number two is where you’ll keep your training where it was while you played. And although this is a lot more desirable than the previous choice it most definitely finds itself in the “less than optimal” category.
Those sessions are designed for athletic performance on the field. Robustness. Power. Maximal athletic output. All ideal when you’re talking to the pitch regularly, but the goalposts have moved, your training should follow.
Instead of a pitch based performance programme, your training should now be about health, longevity and enjoyment.
As the candles stack on the birthday cake it’s important to consider switching gears from time to time.
And perhaps getting out of your comfort zone a little more. All you’ve known is the weights room and pitch. You have an opportunity to expand what your training menu looks like.
Yoga would be my first port of call. If you’ve 20 years plus of GAA under your belt there’s a fair chance you’ve either tight hips, tight hammers or a tight lower back. If you’ve all three, well done, you just won retired players’ injury bingo.
If you’re thinking yoga is just for women, you’re wrong. It’s for anyone who wants to become more mobile, in control of their own movement patterns and aware of their breathing.
In fact, I’ll invite you up for a free session with our world class yoga teacher Conor if you want to try it out.
Just message me on Twitter or Instagram and I’ll book you in so at least I’ll be happy in the knowledge that your first session is with one of the best in the business.
Pilates is another option that will take you a long way towards a stronger core and pain free movement. Or maybe you want to go left field, try something totally different. Good. Do that.
Brazilian Jui-Jitsu. Mountain biking. Trail running. CrossFit. Whatever it is you’ve had in the back of your head as something you’d like to do, go for it.
Leave the ego at the door. You’re not training to win a club championship anymore.
Health, longevity and enjoyment – Those are the goals. Let your training reflect that and you’ll not be disappointed.