Michael's ebook promises to boost GAA preparations
There's a break from the norm with this week's book review. We are traditionalists at heart here, so there's nothing we like better than the feel of a paperback or hardback and the opportunity to thumb through the pages at our leisure.
Each to his own and all of that, but you will never encounter this column extolling the virtues of a Kindle instead of a good, old-fashioned book.
However, we are not luddites either and readily acknowledge the myriad technological advances which have made the written word accessible in so many different formats apart from the traditional method of printed paper.
So for one week and one week only, we haven't called into our good friends in The Book Centre on Wexford's North Main Street to choose a publication to review from their wide range of sporting material.
Instead, we want to tell you all about a first of its kind ebook which comes with the promise of changing the way G.A.A. teams train once the contents are perused.
The reason for our interest in 'The Three Tiers - A Fresh Approach to Physical Preparation in Gaelic Games' is because its author is a former contributor to these pages, Michael Heffernan from Kilcotty just outside Enniscorthy, who is currently based in Australia.
Michael comes from a family steeped in the best of G.A.A. tradition as his mother, Judy, is a former Irish Officer of Wexford County Board, while his father, Seamus, is an ex-player and long-standing member of the Oylegate-Glenbrien club. In addition, his first cousin, Clara Donnelly, captained Wexford to a first-ever adult ladies' football All-Ireland title in Croke Park last September.
Michael has been working and travelling around Australia since September, 2013, and has been based in Brisbane since last November. As a player of considerable talent, particularly in hurling where he represented Wexford at under-age and Intermediate levels, Michael got the idea to put this book together three years ago.
'I basically got tired of doing the same old stuff in training year in, year out without seeing much improvement, and guessed I'm not the only player who feels this way,' he explained.
Michael is working full-time at the moment with a construction company and studying part-time at the Queensland Academy of Fitness, completing a Certificate IV in fitness (personal training).
The course involves long-term exercise programming, functional movement, and exercise science principles to planning training.
Once he completes this course he hopes to undertake a more sports-related course like strength and conditioning, so there's a lot to be done before he plans to return to Ireland.
Michael is playing with the Brisbane Emeralds hurling club at present along with Jerry Davitt (Ferns) and Shane Kehoe (Bunclody), with training for the new season still in its infancy.
He has accumulated a lot of information on training at this stage and is posting it all in a series of blogs on his new website: www.gaatraining.com. The plan now is to promote the book as much as possible, keep the blog updated regularly, complete the course and get some more travelling done before going home in September.
So what exactly does 'The Three Tiers' cover? The blurb for the book explains what to expect in some detail:
'In recent years so much emphasis has been put into physical preparation that players and trainers can get confused and overwhelmed with the endless amount of information and indeed misinformation available. It is hard to know what they should and should not be doing.'
'The G.A.A. itself is behind in creating a solution to the problem, with very little resources available to players, trainers and coaches on how to successfully integrate physical preparation into a G.A.A. training environment.'
The Three Tiers has been compiled to fill that void and is only available online at www.gaatraining.com/shop. Check it out as it's well worth the effort!