Lukasz Kirszenstein | Strength and Conditioning Coach | Galway GAA | Hurling
Renowned S&C coach Lukasz Kirszenstein joined Jonathan on playipredict.com to reflect on his career to date.
Lukasz who is Head of Athletic Development (Hurling) at Galway GAA discussed his online coaching platform GPC Performance and his popular athlete monitoring and reporting tool Actimet.
Contact: email@example.com for on-line coaching
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Hello and welcome back to play I predict calm I'm delighted to be joined by today's the famous face in my neck of the woods and it was in Galway, GA you mentioned strengthing auditioning in Galway, or even in Holland for any matter that word you will straightaway I think nine out of 10 will say Lucas Kirk inside straightaway. He has a course head of athletic development in Galway, Ireland. He has the CV looking earlier on it's Irish teams. It's all Ireland's multiple it's so many sporting teams so delighted to to get Lucas on board today. And we want to try and pick his brains about his fascinating journey because it is a fascinating journey seem to say that every week, but this one is extra special. So firstly, Lucas, thank you so much for joining us.
Thanks for invitation. Thanks for having me.
So, I'd like to turn start off straightaway, we kind of stripped back to our childhood and our Airlie sporting, I suppose influences our people that kind of gear gear, your sporting career or your your kind of lobes are something that I always give the example. It's my early sport and memories, my mother brought me out to the garden and dragged me out and making me play football and and then from then on, I got hooked. And now we're like every sport on this on its own. But suppose you You didn't grow up in Ireland. So you didn't have the GA straightaway? Who were your hourly and sporting influences are your idols that you would have liked?
Yeah, it's a great question. Believe it or not, I kind of grew up kind of pretty average, there was actually no big sport exposure in my life early. And now what I probably am, where maybe what unfortunate was really that I had multiple exposure to different sports. And so I went through, you know, your standard kind of a soccer, and a bit of a track and field. And that's essentially what it was really, and I was really fortunate to have a good PE teacher, you know, she was really good. And now I look back at those things, she took us through stuff. And that initially I was kind of thinking like, why are we doing those things? What are we doing dance, for example. And when she exposed us to the gym early, like a you know, as a teenager, I was able to kind of sample that. So, you know, in the child development and in the in the younger athlete development, the sampling is very, very important stage, you know, you have that sampling, and I was fortunate to sample many, many things never seriously. And, and then I probably narrowed down when I went to university, which was probably a little bit too late as well, I narrowed down to martial arts, and then martial art was my sport, as I was never really good at it. But that's why that's where the passion came for improving the physical stakes, because I was probably never gifted as an athlete. And I was fast enough actually, compared to average. So maybe that's why I was running hundreds and maybe to hundreds and high school. But again, it was it was a level that you know, you don't really mention those things. And but again, the variety of different stimulus was probably good. And for me and then passion came at some stage just before I really went and did my EMI Sports Science degree and towards kind of improving those things. And when I actually was doing kickboxing, you always kind of thinking, Okay, how can you actually get better and, and physical stakes because you know, in martial arts is yourself and the opponent enduring and physical preparation is kind of important, why there's no way to hide, like in team sports, you could have an off day, the rest of the team will drag you along. And in martial arts, there's no such thing you become like boxing bag if you're not. And so that's essentially what it was. It kind of made me thinking. And yeah, so that's what it was like no spectacular sporting career, believe it or not, it was just more the whole spectrum, bigger picture. And I suppose a variety of different environments as well. And like we were fortunate enough in uni, to be exposed to different activities as well as cycles get that idea, like I was trading the morning for kickboxing, then I was going to uni, we could have track and field, we could have gymnastics, have swimming, and we could have all all different things. And then in the evening, I was doing my technical or tactical or my springs, and like I was literally going on Monday to Friday, two to three times a day. So I got that idea in terms of how it actually is to manage that training and and then bit of a gym came along and you know, that kind of a person training base that adds another layer into the understanding of things and slowly start putting things together. And then what I when I came to Ireland, believe it or not, it was actually hard to break into industry for me. And it was a case of finding or meeting right people in the right time. So the person that you probably know he's from Galway, he was the person that initially allow me to break through into strength conditioning and that's that is Ryan Ryan is a head of athletic development then in arsenal. So there's kind of what I was doing are a few certification course and CCC course. And I was looking for experience I was training teams already of my own accord to a bit of a person training, which, which is a nice foundation in terms of a one to one approach, which you still need in large group settings. And then there's kind of got me Am contact and in monster Academy and just went from there. And so, you know, nothing spectacular in terms of my sporting experiences, it's just a variety, I suppose was a strength for me, because I seen many different sports and I trained many different sports, but more rigorously, anything like that, but then eventually, just because I was probably average, as an athlete, I was looking for that extra bit of edge. And when I was doing kickboxing, endorsing maybe thinking how to how to get better preparation and how to get edge over people.
Yeah, it's actually a very interesting point as well. And I think it's become more and more prevalent. I think, I don't like to discriminate against sports. But I think one sport in particular, as fuelers, and I think that's professional football, soccer, whatever your variation of the word, and the fact that it's become such a global Empire, it's become such a multimillionaire business, really. So kids, if they're any good at all, are being lowered into academies from quite young you see, you think Liverpool even signed a six year old, they're racing as well. But kids very, very young and in the rarity kind of life, nevermind sporting life are being pulled in straight away to perfect one sport, and they don't get that variation, as you described there. I think I think, from a personal point of view, I've no education there. But just from looking back at a distance, I think it's important, as you said, to, to get a different variation, try different various sports, maybe then at the end of your mid teens, you can try and focus towards one sport, but I'd be interested to hear your thoughts, your professional thoughts on that sort of mindset of the variation that described how important is that for high level athletes as well.
Massive like it like we, I think we get what you said would already sensitization is wrong, I don't I don't really like it. Now, in certain environments, it's kind of it almost the way it is, as you said, in professional soccer, like, that's the way the academies work. But academies, actually, the good academies that will probably get those kids in, and then we'll do multi sport multi activity with them. So that will provide that stuff for them. But I think, up to 12 years, you should be playing, playing or should be all play, it shouldn't be anything structured as such, and you should be exposed to as many things as possible. I'm trying to get my son Sign up now before, I'm trying to get him to sign up to gymnastics. Because I believe gymnastics is such a beautiful tool to develop that body awareness, I don't want him to be a gymnast, or if he wants to be a gymnast. I let him at it. But I definitely want to have exposure to that I'd love to have exposure to track and field when you take body to positions to some rhythmical drills, and, and allows you to get better at running positions and clean running. And again, team sports are important to obviously, you know, and working with a team environment, you know, getting along with peers, and you know, just even playing different sports, different coordination skills, dance is important too. If you look at the Irish dance, like it's beautiful activity to have a good and develop good activity in the food, the activities that will essentially makes you nice and fast in the ground is head. So those things are reported. I think the early specialization maybe we talking about, we start narrowing down maybe from 13 years up something like that. And again, you know, there's there's nothing set in stone, but we'll definitely invest a lot of time to the bottom of pyramid will be play as many sports as you like, just play, enjoy it, definitely don't get bogged down to tactics and structures and stuff that may be then when you have that role development, that base, maybe from your 1516 years of age is try to invest tight and then narrow down and make sure that you have that your sport and then really go for that one. But that you know, those years should really give you good, good foundation and Athletic Foundation. And and the other thing is kids will probably enjoy it more. And from from even from injury standpoint, I think there's a paper out there that tells you that the more activities you can sample early, the more robust it you're going to be in the future. Again, nothing is set in stone because you really depends on many, many factors in terms of injuries. And definitely my view on those things is just being exposed as to many different activities, you know, and play around in the gym, gymnastics, dancing track and field at an all play a basketball, a Gaelic play hurling, they're just fantastic activities and they really teach you and to demand from you different skills and coordination, spatial awareness and body sensation where segments are in space and obviously different athletic qualities too. So that's my view on those things. You know, it's very generic Bush,
you get an idea. No, absolutely, absolutely. And I suppose if we focus on your, I suppose your career, your career, the story I've been told and I have a feeling there's a little bit of our remit always is that you came over to to Ireland for a kickboxing competition and never returned. I'm sure there's a little bit more to it than that. I think that's kind of got sampled and your whole kind of, I suppose transition, transitioning to Ireland, that story abounded. How did that come to light?
No, that is not true.
I feel and that's a little bit. There's a lot of chapters of the story that you didn't have to say, Oh, I like this. I'm not going home canceling my return ticket.
I never heard that story. Actually. It's funny, as I said, to put things into perspective, I was I was never super kickboxer myself. I enjoyed us. And I retired to a shoulder injury and, and I missed it, to be honest, I miss I missed that part. Because training is very enjoyable and getting kicked
in the head is
one way to get rid of stress.
Yeah, it is. Yeah, it's great. And, and I missed that kind of a toughness in training as well. And it was great way to keep fit as well. Like, I know, I was always in good Nick, and training, kickboxing, I couldn't, I could run distances really fast, my body fat was low and all those things. And I actually never had really any serious injuries outside of one or two broken bones which happened. And what I came to learn straight after doing my, my degree and finishing my master's, that was my plan, really, I didn't really want to and I could work as a teacher in Poland or maybe do something within university but actually not want to do that I just want to go and travel went to London first didn't really enjoy London that much. And my brother was here in Ireland so I came over here and was fortunate to get a job pretty quickly in the gym. So to start off as a gym instructor and and then just slowly work our way through with personal training and started getting context picking up different teams like soccer team here, some athlete here, some golfer there. So as a martial artist here and just working again, something that I was always passionate about was just developing people physically and and then I said we'll come back to a situation that I really want to get into strength conditioning and for enough actually, someone told me I was couple of years in Ireland already, I've been told that I'll never get into strength conditioning in Ireland really fun. Because your nationality was there was a nationality and it and it it's literally and now it's very very competitive industry because you have so many coaches out there and jobs are so few and but at that time, it was made nationality and nga for example everything was literally it was very closed environment as such very hard to get into it. And and that was true at that time. But again, it was a case of it always is like in in professions is where you can and meet the right people the right time. And they can reference you to some people make decisions and and that's what happened with me. Now obviously I work hard to to showcase myself to those people so they can bite me into their training environment. That was the story basically.
What were your first impressions of as well as the GA when you got here in terms of Harlan and Gaelic football would you've even known about them and in Poland before
you arrived over? walnut, we don't know those sports. We don't know Gaelic we don't know and hurling. So if you ask people in Poland, about us, there's no understanding of that. I know some of part of the population now have polls that went back to Poland. And there's large numbers of people that came in here but now they're back home. So some of their kids grow up obviously and they went to school and they were exposed to hurling and those things so I think there's a club or two in Poland in terms of a GAA club, pretty interesting. Whether you still go on or not, I don't know and what sport obviously, Gaelic may be bought hurling isn't really accessible to us. Unless you start from you know, you're young because it's just such a difficult sport in terms of scale and coordination hand eye coordination those things I practice holding myself for less than three years can strike the ball but that's to take a piece out of me you know,
you won't be having a sticky call to Shane after trading around tonight that well you know
it's it's it's a fantastic game. It's very, very enjoyable. Even walking around is very enjoyable and an accident of the sport. I used to be kind of a follower for soccer and boxing MMA, but it's been dominated by Jay now and in particular, absolutely love the sport and life games and those things. So yeah, fell in love And recording Really?
Yeah, well, I think the old cliche is that what the fastest sport game in the world, we like to I think we're probably guilty of over overselling at times, because we're so we're so proud of our national sports part of it in particular, but it is I know even myself and family in American us when they come over to visit and they're like, bring them to game on and like, what the hell is going on here? Even some friends over from the UK for the weekend, bring them into Croke Park for for a game or two when they're like Jesus, and how is there not a lot of rest or something like that? It's it's certainly a sport a sport that kind of captures you straightaway. Because it's it's intensity. Is it so much as well? Did? Did you have to like your first sports and when you kind of came in? Was it kind of Robbie? I know you said you kind of experimented with various different sport, your Robbie was probably one that you kind of I suppose your skills get transitioned easier straightaway across to it? Or was it easier to get into.
Be honest, doesn't really matter. as as as s&c coach or strength conditioning coach, you can work with any sports you don't really have to be. And, you know, like you need to have understanding in terms of what are demanding of the sport. And that's the first thing you like, so I could work with any sport, what I have to do I just need to sit down and read about sports, what are the requirements? What are the demands? What are the physical demands, positioning requirements, maybe injuries, and you can break down sport like that, you have to do a bit of work, you just have to bit of study. That's why it's nice and actually change for sometimes because you get you could just pigeonholed into one. And as a as a practitioner probably limits you a little bit. So it's nice to change the sport from time to time, because you just need to study and the requirement of watersports. And so yeah, I remember when I was in tape, actually. So there were obviously Polish guy, I just landed there by accident, because I was brought in as an assistant by Oracle Carlin at that time. And Fargo couldn't really continue on with the road. So he just basically abandoned the ship and I just stayed on
my own. There you go.
Already traditionally, yeah.
With the passionate coaches around, so you know it First of all, you need to deliver your program and look after strength conditioning, but anyone who shared that time was the manager. And he's very passionate guy. So you, you know, communication is one of the skills you have to have. Well, when you work in, in sports, or it was a case of Yeah, well, what I know about strength conditioning is one but how can I actually deliver it to the team? And how I can I can seamlessly fit in with the with the manager as well. So yeah, it was a was fast and steep learning curve in first year in tape. And again, people outside were obviously kind of saying like, who always
want to have a harlot?
Exactly. So and they will write essentially, and what again, from prescription of the program. It's, it's, you know, you just follow certain steps like, break it down. You learn about or demands again, it's just the culture and environmental factors are important. So maybe that's why the people there were sliding me like what is supposed to do and in a really traditional County. And maybe from that point of view, they were right. Because essentially things are saying what you deliver them different. Environmental environment is different in rugby is different in soccer, and it's different in India. Yeah, so
you're I suppose if we try and kind of step through your career that I would know you more personally, I think can really relate where I became aware of you was your role in the RFU and women went into women's Six Nations. There must have been very special times to be involved with such a successful team that as well.
Yeah, it was it was very, very special for me I remember to sideline we're actually we're playing England, one of the matches in the six nations and we bet England Lebanese and England that time they were training professionally in terms of physical preparation, and it was really special moment for me, no Polish bloke here with with Irish guard and winning their six nations. We won six nations in Scotland. I was involved with those guards before that as a regional coach, and then I stepped up to a national code journal. And it was challenging role because it was based in Dublin and I was living in Limerick. So it was a case that I had to deliver the gym session to the Dublin base guards and oversee the other regions then. So for 4am I was in the care. Yeah, and then from from 6am session delivered and I was going to RFU to Lansdowne Road, the office just to my bits there, and then we'll jump into the guy who was on tape training. And I was heritable for that year. But again, everything in life is a lesson and I definitely wouldn't do it again. At that time, I was a little bit younger and it was challenging, but it's a valuable lesson and I was exposed to very good people in RFU as well, and in terms of you know, how you manage your surroundings and training as well, my boss was pretty strict and harsh at times, but at the same time very valuable lesson learned in that environment.
That must have been I'm even getting tired thinking about that day, if it's a 4am start, and then tip train in the evening, did you get to sleep at all?
No, I slept. I slept in patches, I should say. Obviously, tip don't train every night. And I haven't haven't been in Dublin every day either. So you could kind of manage that way it was higher going. But it was worship girls or urge there were exceptions as well. They were fantastic bunch, and very committed very experienced as well. And loads of them were very established too. So it was a pleasure. And then and again, training female athlete adds that extra bit of a facet to understanding because essentially, you do same things again, but you delivered them slightly different. So yeah, and it was special time winning that six nation remember, in Scotland, we were we had to beat Scotland on the points difference. And I think we had to beat Scotland by 30 points. And, and we bet them I think 69 three or something that in Scotland. We want the Six Nations. Yeah, it was very specially great experience.
Yeah, well, it's a great start to your personal CV as well as then. And then your, your tip days were so successful as well. But I think you touched on a little bit there. Obviously, the GA I think we're guilty of I think we touched on a little bit earlier as well of being kind of close knit because it's our identity. And it's pretty much passed down generation to generation and it's it's such a such a like particularly I'm from World War Galway as well, where it's well it's it's football on our side of the car and the county, but is the Gaelic football and pretty much nothing else. That's your bread and butter, there's there's no other social distractions and stuff, but in terms of sport, and that is it. And it's it's literally part of your DNA, and then that's kind of grown up and passed down the generations. So I think we are very, there's a little bit of a close circle in terms of our sport, but for you then trying to break into, excuse me, in such a traditional county as well, where, you know, Harlan is absolutely, you know, people live and die for it in Tipperary as well, how was as a Polish guy coming in? I know, you've been settling a while? How was that? Was there any difficult challenges? Or you're like, would you ever think of one stage one the name of God I got involved with here, any any kind of aspects to that story you want to diverge?
Yeah, the word challenge and say that the environment itself, players weren't just getting into surf and kind of routines and framework maybe and, and that the way things are delivered in rugby, like I, I got chunk of my experience in monster Academy. And you know, that's as close to professional setup as possible. And now you landing in into kind of GA, and at that time in 2012, things were a little bit different. There was no kind of established patterns, routines and those things. So it was a case of working those strings and working out to those things and educating players and making sure players would buy into stuff. And I'm not gonna say it wasn't easy. And we'll look you know, had good days and tape or bad, we had bad days, too. There's no hiding from that. And everything is a process, like it's hard to jump into new culture and change everything within a month or two. And so it took took a couple of seasons, and we build up to something that we have our own kind of way of doing things. And then eventually, it just paid off. And I think boys just took a different folder from that point and just continue on improving that culture, improving that environment in terms of making the performance environment that essentially what you have at every county now I believe, you know, before actually, in 2012, or prior to that if you had a good kind of environment, terms of a training, management, training, endorse things, you had an edge these days, I think the county's most from what I talked to coaches, we're doing similar things. So that eight is probably gone a little bit, I think, more important is to have a look at now investing in the grassroots and inventing young athletes because that's essentially, we'll make sure that these fellows arrive to senior team in better conditions, and then you can step up a level higher. So the focus should change now to the bottom of the pyramid and maybe helping club and educate clubs and getting better understanding to clubs in terms of physical preparation and build up together. Essentially, players are coming from the clubs. And so that's probably the next step to address and just kind of have a good understanding with the within the club coaches. how certain things can impact performance, physical performance, and what the development should look like. No, absolutely. And
of course, no, no more and further than your six nations assess you did. Our work played a big part in in temporary women, Liam McCarthy how again As a kind of a, I suppose, an outside culture, I think we kind of use that term a bit in Jaipur coming in, like different nationalities? Well, I know you're kind of well settled, but how could you describe to somebody back home St. Paul, and then no idea. That part kind of Harlan is and the spirit of the GA when Emily McCarthy like the emotion that was involved in that when as well, they must be, again, another special environment to be to be involved with another brilliant experience as well, I'd imagine.
It 16 Hong Kong with very, very special, I type, it was just I still have a recorded video on my phone, I still have it. And if I go, um, I used to work with company, I kind of put that on hold a little bit. I used to work with company delivering courses in Poland. And I always say like, my background, who I work with, and so I always show little clips from her like,
what the hell is that?
What the hell is that? And they they ask question, like, they see the crowds in Croke Park, and they can't believe that players can get paid. No, they DO IT pro bono completely nothing. They just they just love this board. And that's the beautiful thing about ga is just the passion of those players like how much they love and the coaches as well. And so that's very unique. I think we need to support that. And so going back to, especially mom and dad, she's at Hong Kong, every time I watch the video, I still have shivers like he can watch, the stadium was completely packed. You can go left and right, it was just huge. Obviously, the goalie one was very good to bind slow. And then in the stadium, it was just split into two different camps. But these are special moments. And they're glad to see the players like how much of the relief and enjoyment is there. And they they're made to delight. And so yeah, delightful players, because I know how hard it's when it is to win, and how much they have to put on the line. Or they just have to really go to the strict strict regime these days just put everything upside down towards their preparation. And essentially, they all try very, very hard and they all try to win. And what sometimes doesn't work. Really sports.
Yeah, no, absolutely, I suppose would I don't want to go too far into it. But just in a general term, if we can at all, it seems to be more now more than ever, we're having these constant debates should ga players become professional, they're, you know, the process and so much of their own time in involved in strength conditioning, recovery and rehab and getting trained and it's almost become a full time career. And but then the other side of that is it's going to dilute we've seen it with soccer and football and a couple of other sports where it can damage that passion, that description of the Hong Kong and that you described as well. And that lovely, as you probably can give a different aspect to that, I suppose question and answer and in terms of you know, just getting the body right, and the benefits will be that way, but seemed a little bit of both sides. What's your own opinion on? What if you're in charge? What way would you go with Semi Pro the way to go? Or should we try and leave things the way they are?
I think you should leave, you should leave things the way they are. Because as you said, you will kill the passion, you'll kill that spirit of ga and I think that's really really unique. And you will you just destroy us if you just go towards elite you will destroy it. But we're definitely what you can do, you can invest into a framework or to support structures for these players in terms of like your your nutrition, your physio support, your your your lifestyle, coaching, your performance coaching and mentoring those things. So give basically holistic, and support for these players. And and when they're with clubs or with with county doesn't really matter, they should really have access to those things. 24 seven, the way I work with praise, I always tell them look, I'm always here for you. And then you know, I replied message, where's the January or December? That's pretty much and you know, in the middle of championship, they still ask me questions, I think we should have a structure for themselves 24 seven, when they do and looking for ideas, or they need to have something addressed in terms of injury front or they just need to basically some advice in terms of a career or something that that's something we definitely that's something that should be there full time. And you often see that in ga and I don't really like it about mga For example, when the coaching ticket or the management ticket changes into County, it just wipes out the whole backroom team with it. And the good thing about rugby firstly had your fairly set structures, you know, your your strength conditioning team stays there, your physios and those fellows and they have that understanding of the group and they have a data from the past and unique you can do correlate things to the previous seasons and that's also important because essentially new person comes in. Now there's you know, there's a couple of months of learning there knowing the players personalities, environments, okay like when I came from Go away like centuries a different environment we do things and same things but boys are different I'm not saying the words are back they're just different
just to go with odds are a lot better is what you're trying to say isn't is not really
and and you know, like different human beings different way to talk to people management team different not straightaway you know everything needs to be reworked from scratch there's you know, you have certain ways to go about it, but you need to tweak and bend certain things to go about it. So I think that that's the step for ga and that's the challenge for them just to provide those structures there's a person to go to and it's 24 seven is full time and you know, at least that's one constant like I mean it can change something can change with it the management setups managers come and go coaches come in or what I think the structure the role structure should be fairly stable there.
Yeah, it just feels to me from the outside looking in but as you said, if a manager changes or whatever changes that you shouldn't be going starting from scratch again as you I'm sure you have so much information both personal and you know, physical information build up and from all the squads that you're involved with like you shouldn't be starting if someone else comes in in the morning they shouldn't be starting off trying to get hold that again has to be a bit of crossover there. You're your own low for heart on there as well obviously you said you you know kind of poking around to the guys might take make a little bit of work, but however you would you describe yourself I think that the old cliche is are you a hurdle in math I'm trying to say that my best goal reaction has been impossible Do you do and do Do you enjoy the sport obviously like away from your work environment? If there's a game on down the road would you go watch it that sort of way?
I will go and watch it Yeah, can I consider myself holy man No, because that would be disrespectful towards really hurting people. Okay to to short in this board really I still don't understand some of the tactics and you know guys the the lingo that goes on like so no I definitely not a hurting man. I like to sport definitely I will watch different games and I slowly getting an idea in terms of different learning styles. I watched the watch the game on Wexford championship there then I watch tape and now I'm sorry getting that yet like they essentially there's different brands of herding and the way you plan things but it comes slowly you know? So I'm taking my time with it is a slow burner but definitely I wouldn't say I'm holding man. I still like to I still like to watch the sport I kind of grew up on so i i was big fan of UFC. Okay, a boxing k one at a time k one kind of noise not as popular as it used to be k one is a kickboxing competition. But I've ever DVD from the first UFC UFC one I don't know if you've seen us seen bits and pieces Yeah, yeah, they try to keep up with those things. Watch the MMA. It's changed a little bit he lost a bit of a you know that kind of factor for me but I still follow I'm not a big fan of soccer on my watch soccer maybe Champions League or so. So some of those things like quarterfinal semifinal, or hurling, I go and watch club game. And I enjoy Nigeria to see the difference. And he is lowly related concepts into a different earning brand. But then club level, senior level, intermediate level, county level, you see those things? And now you know, it takes time. But no offense to Burning Man.
No, not at all. You've you've provided a you know, you've given so much to the sport and like look at the you describe the Hong Kong ones there as well. And look at the pride that you bought to Harlan men and hardened women and children and everyone involved. And so what you're saying really is you're telling me it's going to be another couple of years before you become a full time hardware manager. Really that is Shane O'Neill's okay for another while
Yeah, does he know No, I wouldn't be going that direction for sure. Now. I definitely tried to hire hired and better better support the coaches and what they do because I think you just have to be as one in terms of you know, integrated m strength conditioning is important. So you integrating How can you provide best conditioning means for the guys to sport and that requires working for the whole team. So you know, like, I hated A times when you see the the articles about made like almost, I'm the only person that was involved like you have a huge backroom team these days and you everyone provides vital input like from a kid malnutrition is physio, myself included, and obviously, managers are they're taken and all this they can take all the glory as well, like, you know, making sure that the team works well. So essentially, I'm paired with a bigger picture. And not another not not very big pair really no. And so very good. So
you've, you've won, are you involved in your kind of your career as we kind of go through it? So it's the the RFU women, six nation, snow, the tip all Ireland and then you you come up to a proper country or county and you join up to go with the best in the world. You'd never guess where I'm from. Whichever anyway. After that, that move up. So you'd be kind of, I'd say, by this stage, you kind of a little bit seasoned, you saw what's going on, you'd learned a lot, I'm sure, in terms of, of all aspects of, of harden in the community, that that there is to learn really, and your transition have to go within How was that was, obviously, there was the Mihail joannou link as well, which probably helped a little you spoke about the importance of context, and Iran as well. And you're right, it's so important in every industry, but that move up in an optical way or how was that kind of how was that period for you?
It was good. Again, it was good to have a hall as a link. So he really made the transition easy. And it was a decision really, because I said I like to change environment from time to time because it does, it's a challenge and I won't be going forever and my time has gone away obviously I'll come to conclusion sooner or later but I'll definitely be looking for different challenges different projects and not saying doesn't have to be high profile county or you know that because sometimes the lower profile counties are bigger challenges and their English skills and build them up to speed and provide the structures and environment they are build that environment or build the culture so that's one of the things and I suppose is the nature of losses a strength conditioning coaches, you you you see loads of coaches and traveled from environment to environment, I'm fortunate enough to travel within the Ireland, there was not big move from Tipperary or to go away because the barrier was like 45 minute journey, go away with the motorway to 60 minutes, you're really so unfortunate to see some coaches, they'll go to America to Australia and endorse things. So that's the nature of our job of our profession.
Ya know, what I'm just from, from doing a bit of research going into this and you know, talking to people involved to say the biggest thing that they noticed straight away with Jim was how you change things, so much put structures in place, your knowledge and even simple things like testing and you know, brought the whole I suppose the level of of training and quality have a couple of levels that is that is that something new when you describe the change that you can have you enjoy that you enjoy putting your stamp on things and kind of getting shaped and obviously we've seen the success ultimately to go on and to be part of another on winning team but does that does that kind of challenge excite you when you go in and things might you know might need a bit of work on you you have loads of you know, the the canvas is blank they're away you go look is that kind of a challenge as well as something you enjoy
it is very enjoyable because you're building something that is your own. And you build in that kind of a legacy. And you know, there's many ways of skinning the cat really so there's you know, every environment will have different approaches but it definitely when you come in initially assess your chart, what you do, how things are delivered, and you're not criticizing later that some things are very good, and you work around those things, you're not going to come in and and throw everything out the window you just tried to fit in and just try to tweak things and polish things up. I think the approach that you're coming in when you're putting the door in is wrong. So you definitely tried to fit in but you try to put little supporting structures around the whole environment. So it is enjoyable like in in go ahead and go with things and similar were different it was just a matter of tweaking a few things maybe adding layer here but of the quality there maybe just revisit the basics and you know and basics are essentially important in training. And if you look at the best athletes athletes are best environment they do basics really well and be always my philosophy they always do simple things well and the rest is kind of icing on the cake so yeah it's definitely enjoyable to see that change and it's even better when the feedback comes from player that they actually enjoyed that we actually liked that actually liked that concept I feel better and going into training or going to the game so yeah it's a rewarding them as well.
Yeah, absolutely. And you know people that I would you know would be chatting to whatever they all say that straightaway I think because the guy not to best but it doesn't take any crap of what they all speak very highly of you as well as you can see
you're it's something you're I don't know
maybe they're taking black i i've bred not repeating something you don't take any crap was there? Was that what likable was? That was some of the some of the descriptions I heard maybe they they're different towards the or something like that.
Maybe maybe, I don't know. I don't think I'm that strict and I hardly ever roll over a shoulder like that happen sometimes. You just sometimes need to hit the reset and switch port and I think working with teams or coaching, it's it's it is a relationship essentially. So you know you can really have invoice people around or, or, or shoulder people are coming in and we kind of have a boss attitude. Usually Have a relationship again we are dealing with amateur players and many things can go outside of the training ground and that is important in terms of you know, what is stress like at home you know what's the store with your exams maybe Mrs can give you a hard time or those things those things are important to address as well because they do have a direct impact in terms of how they perform within their own our training environment so you just have to have relationship and you as I said, coaching human beings self Didn't you see and assess what you're dealing with sometimes we get it right when I can run it all the time and I'm making right all the time constantly running and every day is a lesson really learn from that.
Yeah, absolutely. And suppose the ultimate thing that goal we got Robert right as a collective unit was when a Li McCarthy lecture again I know I'm speaking for fun more than anybody here it was such relief in such a long time Come on we've had so many near misses you so many falls down so I'm coming out of the park so many times and you think this is it this is it and then some of those battle against kokanee in the early noughties as well and thank God are we ever going to win one and then it happens and in my own personal feeling was was more it wasn't even happiness initially it was just At last it was relief I'm getting even getting goosebumps thinking back to that I learned fallen day as well. Again you watch you watch the guys I'm sure you got to you know you got to hear about all those kind of false downs all those bad moments to be involved in in that sort of a story as well where there have been such a long time common being a first all Ireland of a generation really for many people that again must have been hugely hugely rewarding
This is definitely was and it probably came a little bit quicker than what happened in tips so it was kind of a bit of like a while we are it's great it's great to have her like and I think many good many good things were already in place we were just a matter of tweaking things and what it was Yeah, I was walking around to change room after and there was some guys that were on the panel before they came to after and he could see tears in the eyes or you could see what that means to some of the guys and go well you know for the previous year they were playing really high level as well. Very very close just couldn't really get over and but again you know it's just not because you hear those stories and Jay lake or she's gonna have a belly for it is the New York night. I always say like it's bullshit. You don't really know what goes on in the door setups. So don't really say that. No, it's so so unfair on these guys. And I actually captured a moment doing canning was taking a sideline just before the final whistle so that was my video as well I kind of knew they had it and I recorded in the New Year option in this datum as well. So that's number one. So the video from tape one with the homecoming that that final moment of the game, I still haven't saved and was especially well like it's just everything everyone went bananas you could see people tears in the eyes after 29 years. It's a long time without a title. So it was very special was kind of strange as well as electives that came really fast. And but again I kind of knew when I was making that step to go away that there was a massive potential there and I spoke me all before I am before I left Eric like you know you're watching games prior when I was still with tape like you know there's obviously undoubtedly there was massive potential in that particular team there so was coming just we were just fortunate to get things right and
yeah and again one of my abiding memories is really as that year is the semi final against your former team Tipperary there have been some absolutely epic battles or over the years have been so can it seems like it's your turn it's my turn that that's the way they kind of went over the years and those three there was just like one score and I remember having some friends over from the UK for the weekend I ended up bringing them to that semi final It was our first game or harder than that semi final for anyone that wants to refresher back was just one of the craziest games have Harland ever seen in my life so to be someone's first game as well I was kind of envious of them but it's the one for cannon scores that miracle score. I think he was halfway up the kickstand when he when he struck the ball into injury time there as well. But that those those are crazy memories didn't do like I'd be curious like you're an outsider coming in you're given a specific role. But you obviously if this was against the team that you you know, invested so much time and energy and all that into as well and had success What does that does those those kind of paths cross Are you strictly This is my team here in our how much emotionally involved Do you get in terms of the spirit of the sport as opposed to getting the players ready, if you know what I mean?
Yeah, and that's probably my weak side. I sometimes be emotionally very invested. But again, as I said, I work with developing relationships and to try to give and the best tools for these fellas than to have on the pitch. So sometimes I get carried away with those things. Yeah, so it's huge. Like, look, my heartrate monitor. heart is racing to death the whole game. And definitely, and it's and it's special and you just feel like, you know, that gauge was just something else. Remember, it was very tight and I knew tip will be up for especially after a really bad performance they had in the league final. And we will bet them by what 15 points or something of that. And we had a good performance and bad performance so and even when we then we got to draw who he blames me violence like, Oh, yeah. And because I knew they will, they will be up for it big time. And, and we were coming off five weeks break. So we'll have to be really on our toes to get that sharpness in place quickly. And don't wait until they get the put an eight or 10 points head start on you know, and yeah, it's always good. But yeah, and especially the championship quarterback is it's fantastic place, it can be really great at the same time can be very, very lonely and you will feel those things. And what is always for me is always motivation. I always want to get to the quarterback I was very disappointed last year not to get it and not to get off track with the senior team. I was there reminders, and as a kind of an observer and spectator. But yeah, I missed it a lot. So yeah, it is a little bit I should put I suppose I should be working to keep emotion out of it. But sometimes it's hard You know, when you
put a game like that as well and all the the hours that you would have put in as well through the winter, and whatnot. And so I know obviously we had a little disappointment then we're not going to go into it but me or left his position there during the winter and but you pretty much very quickly after that we're kind of signed off on a full time role as head of an athletic development for gold with Jay the heart inside. Were you I suppose from a personal point of view, something like that is it must be great, I suppose everyone, it's very away from sport, economic wise, it's challenging times at the moment, we see a lot of fitness industries or you know, badly impacted there's so many places to lock down with lockdown, you don't really know what's happening, but a little bit of personal security as well. It's probably another step on your CV that you were able to get, you know, a role like that not just like training the team here therefore, it must be again, something you're probably very proud of.
Yeah, but I was proud to even look from taking different angles and from the perspective of actually providing some sort of stability for players because the last is like someone else comes in and let's say I'm the best contender because that's definitely not true like what is the newcomer the need to invest time to learn and learn quickly and that's the time last two to three months when essentially you need some stability that are lost and that's not fair and boys. So in fairness voice to doctors well they want me to stay in that was their voice they want me to continue working with them. So yeah, I was very happy and proud and I was special as well just to continue on but I think it was important to have some sort of instability for a new management coming in and when chain and is joined in, it was probably a little bit easier for them. I hope it was easier for them because I had some of the answers and had some of the information and I was probably able to make that transition and for them a little bit easier. And so they won't be wasting so much time I mean they're fantastic guys. What I was trying to do is help and be as helpful as possible in the whole process because and then I believe that as a setup we didn't really lose that much time. Yeah, no no,
you're absolutely right because I know speaking of the guys like it was there between everything that happened the appointment was quite late in the year compared to say other teams and I know obviously the calendar has been absolutely demolished a sense but it had been a it's an awful word to use but it had been a normal sporting year we didn't have the pandemic where we'd been the learning point was last Sunday it would have been it would have been It was a saving grace the fact that there was some sort of stability everything was able to continue on with yourself in in the midst of say chaos for one to want a better word and just curious so you've continued on that role and then you're involved in your various roles in in in kind of the other Gobi setups How is your just kind of more from myself just being very curious so you obviously you're a lot of your work is done with getting the prepare the players prepared to get them you know is your se c coach what's your role in and say in the in the build up to big big spoke about big champion games so the likes that Tipperary gamer on? What's your role in on Match Day? How do you how do you kind of work things without obviously giving too much away, but what's your general general kind of kind of routine?
Yeah, it's the match days are probably limited. More you could, that there's still duties that we have to do kind of making sure players get their activation work. And they're asking stuff, provide them additional stuff, obviously doing the warm ups warm up is it's a small part. But I always keep timing in terms of when we're going out to the pitch, how long is the warm up, make sure to keep the finger on the tap there. And halftime I time as well. So we have a certain, I mean, all the teams probably have that we have a certain routine and unchanging that we follow. So everything is structure. So I was timings and the control life, helping Nutritionism the day with hydration, anything I can do and then obviously controlling themselves in terms of rotations, terms of warm up and then communicating with the management. And Easy enough and just try to provide that bit of extra information as well chatting to players before the bigger matches as well. Maybe actually providing some distractions, some time, you know, for them, and a bit of everything. But the main one will be you know, your activation, your warm ups and providing additional bits that player might want. And the timing, and then assisting and nutritionist or kit, man, whatever we can do, really. So we work as a unit and the matching,
timing seems to be key for a lot of things. I think there's an old kind of ga mindset of you know, you run the team into the ground, you know, teach them a lesson, etc, etc. But from again, from the little bit again, that's something you're very kind of passionate about, you know, when enough was enough, everything is sold. You talk you spoke about structure. You've never you know, stories that we write the management that's it there's enough done that sort of way that that kind of side of the game, and obviously as well, which are your other I suppose businesses your volume as well, your your achromat app as well as that seems to be very much in your GPC performance AP as well, they seem to be that whole as far as we do have a tendency to, to over train to do too much. But you're kind of responsible from just being that kind of wise, wise, not wise old man. We're putting it all together and calculating out and you know, putting out proper structure, that's something you seem to be very, very passionate about as well.
Yeah, I firmly believe that's our role as a condition coaches as well is it's really worked closely with coaches, with the manager in terms of what they want, and what kind of game they want to play and support them in that. But also provide them a guideline in terms of how much can we do in terms of adults. And because, you know, if you let coaches out it, they'll train train men and never stop. It's not just because they're, they're resilient, you know, that they just have a passion for it. And they totally understand that. And sometimes, sometimes it's hard to say like, Look, today, we only want 15 minutes, you know, when you get those weird loops.
What do you mean,
I remember my first year with Avon, and then was a championship week. Oh, God, that's when we started to taper on into the game. And that's what we're doing. Like, no, it didn't go well. And so again, to sell information, how we communicate that is very, very important. But yes, I believe that's our job as well to control that you can just can just let the chaos go. And don't put any doors on it or done any timing. So that's my job and just try to do it again. Sometimes we do it, right, sometimes we get exactly perfectly, or we undercooked or we overcook. Because we're dealing with you know, it's a it's essentially a very dynamic environment. So there's loads of things going up and down and you know, just try to control things and it's hard. Now there are certain ways to go about it. Obviously, we try to provide those and and try to stick to those but you know, sometimes doesn't work out like we can't,
I can't imagine you like it, particularly when you're trying to you're breaking through into a new sport as well. And I suppose the sad reality as well, you're probably nationality on very, very sadly comes into the game. What does he know about Harlan or whatever? How dare me I've been doing this all my life. But that I suppose it takes a bit. It takes a lot of courage and europarc as well. But there must have been some clashing of heads with managers over the years as well. Like you spoke that story. What do you mean, we're only doing 15 minutes or whatever? And you've had I'm sure you've had some interesting conversations over the years. I'll put it that way.
Yeah, there were there were clashes. There were conflicts but it's it's part of it's really how we manage how we solve the conflict. And again, I won't be bullshitting sometimes you come out on the good side and sometimes you're on the bad side. But it's all lesson essentially, you try to better than deliver that message and communicate and maybe help coaches understand how certain things affect player physiologically and then how could affect them on the on the match day. And work in progress really because you know, new coaching ticket, okay, need to go back and rewrite the script from the staff in terms of how we deliver that message, what kind of tools we use to inform them in terms of what they do and how it affects our players and Yeah, it's a big, it's a big part because you know, we could have, we have that essential knowledge in terms of what we have to do to increase or improve performance. But, you know, application of it is it's a different story,
I can imagine as well with a new, a new coach and you know, team and stuff like that, where you might have had that personal relationship, but up, that's an important selling point straight away that you get those communications going on. Because as you said, everyone will have particular ideas that they want to be teams to be super fast or super strong, or play the longboard short ball and stuff like that. So I'd imagine there's a lot of kind of a, as you said, reevaluating kind of and sitting down and finding that common ground really between what's the medium perfect line and what's crazy running the guys into the ground.
Yeah, look, there's time for everything. You know, I always say that to coaches, like, don't get me wrong, like we don't have to wrap the players in the bubble wrap, they can just go tippy tappy stuff, there's time to go ahead. And there's time to go. Worst case scenario in training, and you have to provide those things as well. And essentially, communication if you don't, to people in the team, if you have good people, and they all open to talk and conversations going like you will figure it out. You you find that middle ground. And that's essentially what it was like sometimes bit of a tug of war, or I'm more important, you are more important. No, we are both important. Our, our our views, and the way we want delivered is important. And essentially, we want that to benefit the team. That's what we try to do.
Yeah, so I suppose I know even from my own kind of Rarity back, when I used to play with it as well, you'd have certain managers to come in and have certain normal notions. And it's something I've seen you talk about recently, but it always kind of comes to line because it's all such a decisive conversation points are, it's almost like a manager puts it in just because they want to create discipline in the group, the old age or drinking bands, for instance. I know it's something you're kind of passionate about as well. And reveal or is there any benefit to them? Should they guys be UFC professional people, you know, after athletes after after a game, they'll have a bottle or two or whatever your your background role is? Because it is it's I'm not sure if there's a more decisive kind of viewpoint or topic in the GA circles than the good old drink about.
Yeah, and I don't really understand. You know, like, if you, as I said, I think I said independent, if you use if you restrict something, it probably makes things worse in terms of certain issues. And I think there is a drinking issue in terms of young population in Ireland, binge drinking, and what kind of stuff and in terms of Ja, obviously, alcohol performance, they don't mix well. By all means I'm not an advocate of drinking. What what I'm what I'm really against is to create that kind of a cage or a jail scenario, prison, like, you know, you've been locked up and all those things that essentially allow you to, okay, just relax a little bit. And when essentially, the cage is open, you know, like a wild animal out of the cage. So and I don't like extremes. And for me, this is extreme, you know, there is need to be time for these fellas to wind down as well. And again, I'm not promoting that you have to go and drink in certain intervals. But if someone goes on and just can't really relax and switch off, and I'm saying alcohol is a way of switching off, because it's not. And it's a it's a funny way to create something that potentially make the issue even even bigger. Like,
it seems to be a pretty unique ga thing as well. I'm not sure whoever had they had the idea, no drinking, but one two championship, or whatever, you hear it all the time. But you're right, it's particularly when you're dealing with you know, so many different personalities as well. And everybody has a different life environment, they may be studying or in college, or they might work shift work, or and then in terms of relationship or living with a family on their own, there might be travel and commuting. It seems just a bit. One of the most frustrating things that I think at times the old school GM mentality is kind of everything is you know, this is the way it is it's one structure for all one size fits all because it clearly isn't and it wouldn't be if it was a professional thing, but particularly when it's an amateur thing and everyone has their own work and social life and you know, a family life to to juggle into a training routine as well. It just seems one thing for me to look at in other words, it just seems like a huge frustration of mine. Probably something as well that you've probably had to not fight with but work with over the years as well. Imagine you know, one size for all just doesn't work.
Yeah, it's just it's just a funny one. And it's there's a big large burden on these fellas once they have the the jersey on, you know, and like this adds an order pressure on them like almost people point the finger or he wasn't the pole but I haven't find like,
yeah, predicting what social media is like, oh, I've saw him here. He wasn't. He was at x, y and Zed. It's just yeah. It's a that's a different conversation social media, isn't it? Yeah, exactly.
Or massive. That's a different story altogether. I I'm a big fan of social media really, I put up certain things in social media for the sake of having it mainly related to, to projects I'm trying to run. And yeah, I think it's getting out of control. Really, you know? Yeah, I think it's, I think it's very
touching this in previous interviews before actually born with Tony O'Regan, former governor is no professional mind culture, and does a lot of kind of the psychology involved as well, you probably would have came across him in coaching circles as well. But like we told you,
when I was in tip,
are very good, very good, very good. So your paths are definitely cross ball. We interviewed him a week or two ago and we touched a little bit on that and kind of the demands of social media and how it's how people haven't you know, there's no acceptable code of conduct for want of a better word on social media and that's across the platform look, young sports stars now as well as a platform there for every Tom Dick and Harry just to say any sort of waffle or any sort of abuse to them, it's, it's a difficult challenge as well for, for that
it's so easy, and a new, a new hiding, essentially, you know, and it's so much easy to be a keyboard warrior, and just write all those things without really knowing that the context of the whole situation, players can be like, amateur players can be affected by many things, and therefore their performance can be affected. So it's very easy to throw shit at them. From the from the other side, through social media channels. You know, it's hard like some players, players literally mute all the social media when it comes to the crunch time. And some people can deal with it. Probably the best way is just to step out of it and not be involved in those things because it's just and it's unregulated as well, you know, you can you can do serve a serious harm to a person. And it's so easy to these days, I could write editing you know,
a thing and stuff that you wouldn't dream of say someone face to face on the street or wherever you meet them. Now it's almost the wrong word, but it's almost acceptable or you know, there's a platform there for you to do that. It's uh ya know, it's at the best of times it's an absolutely Dahlgren of shark fest but when you add in I suppose sports and the passion that Dr. Brown I get more passionate and you'll say something about a particular player How did he miss that? or What is he even doing? How did he get that in, but when it goes beyond that, and it's you know, people are going over the way to to travel entrepreneur abuse, it's a I can imagine it is something that has to be in the in the midst of a normal championship year where the rivalry is intense, it's something that has to be managed because you don't want to you don't want some of that stuff being seen because it will affect people's performances as well that's that's the thing really is not
it might affect some people performance here we're not all you know, players are not robots to just human beings and some of them can get central to the subconscious and maybe could have negative effect on your performance maybe not for most of the not loads of players these days and in many counties as well. They literally go and they just shut down all the social media just to provide the distraction probably the easiest option to do it, you know, just don't take part in it. I think it's like you anytime I'm looking at conversation online in terms of social media, you just can't win and there's always you might have a kind of a good conversation about stuff and then some troll shows up and destroys everything. Yeah, it you know, as you said that you wouldn't have that kind of a conversation and in person, you know, because loads of people most of the people will have the balls to sexual and accusations and those things like that. So therefore that these are the places to have discussions like you know, a warrior Yeah, no,
it's it's a hard battle unfortunately, we've seen cross varying sport and not just in sporting or all aspects of life and it's even it's it's gone beyond abuse as well you see some horrible racist comments or and stuff like that. It's it's definitely something as a society, it's not a sporting issue. It's I think it's more of a society we're not we're, we're not used to it, I think we'll need an agenda and other generation or, you know, strict platforms in place, whether that's an ID system that you have to you know, be screened before you go on you can't just have a face as a counter. We have to become as accepted as
having some sort of regulation definitely needed because as you said, it keeps getting worse and worse. It's easier and easier actually to throw rubbish at people. Yeah sure.
What does that Polish hurling strength conditioning coach Well, how would he know he doesn't even know he doesn't even know what to do. I want to I want to touch on you. You mentioned there as well, your your two projects that you're working alongside as well. And I know I've heard some rave reviews and all your web webinars as well there during the week as well. So doing great work there. So your two ones you want to have a I suppose excited To explain to everybody what they are, and one of the other projects that you're involved with the GPS performance and actually matters Well, they're the two major ones that correct.
Yeah. That are major project. So activate is the training load wellness reporting app, player management system. And GPC is a plug for platform online platform for, for coaching programs, basically, when we, when we kind of bridge the gap between giving you just PDF with the program. And or being one on one, we kind of sit somewhere in between. So we have interactive platform where you get all the coaching all the videos and that kind of stuff, and tailor made programs and towards your sport or towards your goal. And activators. It's a good one, really. And that's something I've been involved for something I obviously came initially when I was actually working with, with rugby and Andre, in monster, Andre teens, we're collecting all the subjective information. So basically, how players are finding training, what are the wellness scores, how they're reacting to the trainings, put up to them. And it was really tedious job and try to collect that information, put it in Excel, then make some action decisions based on that information is all you know, time consuming, losing hours, loads of hours monthly. And so then that progress into some sort of a kind of a Google Doc system, when we're capturing information through Google Sheets and those things. And eventually, I tried to build the app and to be honest, and wasn't really easy. Initially, I tried it in Poland and was a dead end. And then I went with the app to India, on the company that, you know, they were telling me they can do this, that and the other. And it was a it was a big fail as well. So last time and in the process and eventually add to Rory Gordon and on a good experience and developer. And we just sat down and we got the project going. So we are where we are with now we have over 150 teams on it, I'm slowly getting out there, it's a nice little efficient way to collect information from orders. And the way we try to build that system is we just try to make sure first of all athletes can input that information very easily fast. And so No, no big questionnaires. And low kind of sub menus, one, two clicks and off to the coach. And then for coaches. And we'll just try to make a system that is you know, you can access that system and get information from it without having or science degree. So very, very efficient. And in enormous streamlining the process of capturing that important information. And well this information these days is important because it can tell you players under stress, or how they're responding to training to the physical training, what goes on outside of the training ground. And we have an important section in our app that players can provide comments and comments are very, very powerful things to have a player thing and you know, the thing with GA, sometimes people would don't say face to face, it's easier. Again, that goes back to keyboard warrior, it's easier actually to write something in terms of a criticism, I take criticism every day, because I'm thinking makes me better as a coach. And so that's what it is, in a nutshell, very simple way to capture information efficient, and make it accessible for early sports scientists and condition coaches or for for managers for hiring coaches. And we try to encourage that mitigation system.
Yeah, and I suppose given the current environment of the even the last couple of months as well with lockdown and everybody happened to be away from groups and you know, do training individually as well to platforms that have become even more important as as a communication tool and as a tracker in terms of you know, programs and then tracking everything then as well.
Very Yeah, like the GPC very handy because I said it's interactive and it's easier to distribute to programs to players and and I've over 130 players under my watch now. So it's it'll be hard to send individual PDF programs 230 people, we kind of work in main teams in the groups and we have different variations of the program, then they can have the menus and the options and that way it's much much easier to manage that and and essentially they will struggle. Normally in the past we send the PDF they asked like what's what's that exercise? What is it
how do I do that when
again, now they come back and like literally the exercise shows them the coaching cues, the coaching points and and also provides the video so it's much easier for them to relate back. Oh yeah, that's the one we were doing. That's what we want to do. And and it's nice secure way as well. Notice, everything stays within the system. Then we feed that information through through activate. So for us at As a group has been great help really for me as well because normally and probably it was busy throughout the lockdown to provide different players with different programs and just keep them interested and it was hard and challenging as it is the platform was great help and we use that with individual athletes from different codes and different sports as well. With a variety of clients with with boxers we've track and field people. And we've worked because we've smoggy with hockey so we were nice and variety of sports and within our clients and the system it's it's a nice way by solution if you want to work with us. And postino you base Northern Ireland rebase Dublin something and it's not perfect ideal scenario will be work one on one and have that presence of the coach at a gold standard. But if we constraint certain things, this is a nice and solution.
No, absolutely no and again, from people are using it and rave reviews as well made their life so much easier. And then the fact that I think it's very useful as well as that you're able to monitor so you can tell Oh, hold on there you go you're going to mature You know, there's that it's not just a complete like online kind of video or whatever and that's it there is a suppose a management on a coaching role for want of a better word involved as well.
It is it's very interactive, and provides that feedback and if they do exercise technique, and they can upload it literally jumps in with beside their their exercise, there's obviously communication channel to the to messaging. And they can log in what the lifting on both platforms actually activate is beautiful that way because you know, it's a subjective data, but it's definitely conversation striker. And in some cases, you know, subjective that is basically what feel the what what is the player perception or know certain things. So you just have to take a bit of distance with those things. But as the conversations go, okay, pick up the phone, what's going on what's going on, where Why is voice stress and deliver so high, and for that particular login bit of this, or maybe something that just make a little amendments to problems and modification. And that's that's the way we kind of operate,
you know, absolutely very useful. And so for any kind of teams, or anybody that's interested in easier, either of those platforms, what's the best way to dispose get in touch or start that conversation with you guys.
The best way is to visit board or websites on active mental calm GPC performance comment for our programs. And we have on active mental calm, we have two week trial. So you can you can jump in, you can register as a coach, you can bring your athletes onto that team, and see what platforms can do for you who can can make life easier can really contribute and I'm sure we can, and all those things, these are just another tools in the toolbox. So you have to use them. Like the athlete monitoring or those subjective monitoring is a thing that you need to build a habit among your athletes log into to provide information initially might chase them a little bit. And for that, maybe charge to 60 days to develop that habit. And but once it's there, you know, it will provide the benefit. We've we've a nice Academy in Poland that they sign up 17 with us. And they actually did something that we don't really recommend for Andre hdms. Because I think the reporting and activity is for guys that maybe are 15 close. But they actually they approached and entrepreneur teams and ever teams of undertakings actually reporting wellness scores, and they have really good compliance on those things. So obviously, it's down to coaches instead of coaches and what kind of philosophy and what kind of environment they try to build. They have seven teams, and and the owners are under 13. And they're getting a full use of the system. So nice story.
Absolutely. And we'll put the links, and we'll share them out underneath as well. So people do want to want to get in touch. Because I know from again from speaking to some of the guys are using nothing but good words and how easy it's made their life on you as going back to what we discussed on earlier on as well in terms of communication and passing data to managers and other members of the culture team as well. It's such a, it's such a unique and such an easy way of just processing that order altogether because information is key and all that particularly in these times.
It is especially in the current situation where you don't see the player for a long time. It's good to have to go after info some sort of info in terms of right that's what he's doing throughout the week. And that's how he's experiencing it. So definitely helps and is an extra layer of information we need like coaches, we go to the games, obviously, they will watch the ram players performances, but they just kind of provide that additional information their background in terms of how that information or situation may affect them. So definitely it is and it's easy, and it's fast. And it's understandable for coaches again, you know, like we are a competition there. They're probably system to have more features. But a lot of is actually is complicated. And your typical sports coach or hurling coach goes into it and just gets lost in our system. You'll find your way around releasing.
Very good, very good. As I said, what we'll share the links out there, and hopefully finding was interesting and get in touch with Lucas and his business colleagues as well. So when ya know, Lucas, listen, thank you so much. I've really, really enjoyed out there, I got to see a bit more behind the big era that is there. And hopefully we don't really know what's going to happen in terms of sport and feel for the rest of the year. Hopefully, we'll have a Christmas Lee McCarthy celebration. That'll be a good video to have as well, wouldn't it?
With the snow
with the snow? There we go. It's almost like in the movies.
Let us know that.
There we go. And and definitely no, definitely no drink bands around Christmas. That's all we'll say then as well. Lucas, thank you so much. It's been an absolute pleasure, as repeat we'll put the links out to both of those projects as well and get in touch with Lucas, thank you so much, and we'll talk to you again soon.
Thanks for having me. Thank you all the best