Are Your Putting Your Health In a Box?

Why do we have a doctor for physical health, a doctor for mental health, another for financial health, another for professional development, another for fitness, another when we have a sore knee, another when we can figure out what we should be eating, and another when we are having relationship problems? It seems to be that we are mostly programmed to think that all these areas are separate and independent from each other, or that one can be addressed by itself and that this will affect the rest, and result in a happier state of being for us. Maybe this is correct, but a few things got me thinking about it recently.

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Building a Career in Strength and Conditioning

Personally speaking, I started my sport science study in 2001 at St Mary's Christian Brother's school on the Glen Road in mighty west Belfast. What started out as general interest in how I could train my body and mind to become a better hurler has since grown into a full blown obsession , encompassing physiology, biomechanics, anatomy, strength and conditioning, psychology, coaching, and business development. Since my first Sports Studies class at St Mary's, I have completed an undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise Science's at the University of Limerick, a research Masters degree at the Biomechanics Department in UL, a course in business development, started my own business, got a nomination for Blog of the Year, worked with the Adelaide Crows football team in Australia, was strength and conditioning coach for the Cork Senior Football team, studied under Ido Portal, lectured in the University of Limerick, and Setanta College, presented 2 television documentaries, helped over 20 GAA cubs with their strength and conditioning and learned from some of the best coaches and teachers around. As it happens, last night ACLAÍ was awarded a prestigious 'Irish Language in Business' Award. This post is just a summary of musings on the area of building a career in the strength and conditioning/ sports science world.

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So You Want To Change How Your Body Looks....

There is more than one way to skin a cat, and the same applies if you are trying to change your health, and how your body looks for the long term. In this article I want to let you in on the things that I have seen be most effective for the many members that have successfully achieved a life changing transformation as they come through the doors at ACLAÍ.

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A Personal Perspective on Mental Health

Most people would never think that I have suffered from mental health because I’m involved in sport, I have a loving family and I just graduated from college, but I have. In my last semester of my college degree I totally lost myself. I wasn’t the happy, outgoing, motivated person I always am. Lots of things in my life built up at once and I felt like I was trapped in a bubble. I stopped going home every weekend to my part time job, my five year relationship was coming to an end, I was finishing college with not a notion what I was going to do next, I gave up boxing my passion to do a sport I didn’t like (weightlifting) and I spent a good bit of time with negative people who I usually wouldn’t surround myself with.

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Productive Days Vs Un-Productive Days

Have you ever noticed that some days you are just ‘in the groove, and some days you cant even see the grove? It happens to me. I hit the groove, and it might last a week, a month, or even a bit more. Then the grove slips a bit, and theres a period of time until i find myself back in there. When I am in the grove, things go easy. Work, training, sleep, food, time with friends, all come together and life seems pretty easy. Outside of the grove, there are distractions, lack of motivation, rushing around, tiredness, itchy feet, frustration, and low energy. Over time, I have gotten to know the things that seem to get me to the grove and keep me there, and the things that get me out of the grove and try to keep me there as well. In sharing the following points with you, you might be able to reverse engineer more productive days. Instead of waiting for the things that make you productive to magically align, just do them, and avoid the ones that makes you non-productive.

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Taobh Thiar Den Gheansaí: Mental Health and the GAA

Last year I took some time out from getting ACLAÍ off the ground, and coaching the Cork Senior Football Team, to get involved in putting together a documentary dealing with the issues of mental health in the GAA. It was a project that I was cautious about getting involved in for several reasons. Aside from the fact that I was up to my eyeballs with one project or another already, I was extremely conscious that the issue mental health, and suicide in particular is a very current, painful, and life shattering experience. Initially my biggest concern was how I would come across personally when presenting a topic of this nature, and if I would be up for the job

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Passion Vs Attention in Sport

Firstly, I’ll start off by letting you in on my training history. By the age of 7 I had done various sports such as swimming, Irish dancing, ballet, soccer (on the road with the lads). At the age of seven I started Taekwondo in which after 13 years of training and dedication, I attained a second degree black belt and represented Ireland at numerous international competitions and more importantly learned how to train consistently and discipline myself both physically and mentally.

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The Day I Found My Coaching Marbles

A few years ago I attended a job interview at Setanta College under two of the best known names in Irish and international Strengthand Conditioning, Liam Hennessey, and Des Ryan. The interview, which I had been looking forward to, was unlike any other that I had attended in the past. For over two hours, I was put through the mill by Liam and Des, discussing nutrition, Olympic Weightlifting, fundamental movement skills, and anatomy, among other topics.

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5 Life Lessons To Be Learned From The Hurling Field

1. You have to take up the challenge as if victory was certain

Going into a hurling or football match expecting to be beaten will pretty much result in defeat every single time. Going into a tackle as if you are not going to win the ball will result in not winning the ball and possibly injury. Take up the challenges in your life as if you mean them! Do things with 100% of your capacity and enjoy the challenges that come up along the way. From cleaning the toilet to acing your driving test, strength and integrity will come with a full application to the task at hand.

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