I have previously held the position of Head Strength and Conditioning coach for Arsenal Women FC, after spending time working with the Arsenal FC Youth Academy. I joined the world of professional football from GAA, leading the Limerick Hurling Academy Athletic Development program, and before that coaching the Limerick Minor football team and Limerick Ladies football team.
My own story began with a passion for sport, hurling in particular, and injuries. These things have led me down to the path of strength and movement development, and into Athletic Development coaching. I am now very lucky to be in a position to pursue my passion for helping others to reach their potential as athletes and as people.
The content of this blog will explore my experiences in coaching, training, and in life. In doing so, I hope to challenge my own thinking, share what I have learned along my personal and professional journey, as well as the wisdom of others.
My training philosophy has been shaped by my experiences of preparing for sport and using the gym as a means to build physical capacity, and by following leading figures in the strength and conditioning world who make sense. Developing a training philosophy helps us see the bigger picture, of what is important and why we do it. I think figuring out the ‘Why’ is a key part of someone’s training, and makes the process of ‘What’ and ‘How’ a lot clearer.
A well-grounded philosophy is the cornerstone on which everything else is built. This is especially true in sports conditioning. A sound philosophy is required for effective methods, and consistent, positive results. Vern Gambetta, Athletic Development.
Here are what I consider to be core values of training and living:
- Enjoy movement and training and don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun.
- First move well, then move often. Gray Cook
- Move mindfully
- Suppleness is the key to athletic longevity and pain-free movement. Improving your joint mobility will maximize your movement potential safely, efficiently, and effectively.
- Chase good movement and lifestyle habits, not numbers or short-term gains. Embrace the process and let the results look after themselves.
- Every now and then push yourself and see what you can do.
- Avoid paralysis by analysis or obsessing over the minutia.
- Plan the hunt, hunt the hunt, discuss the hunt. Keep it in that order. Dan John
- No matter where you are coming from, the important thing is to get moving, don’t wait for the perfect moment. Just get started.
- Prioritize physical literacy with a broad movement vocabulary. Running, squatting, hinging, pushing and pulling, are important patterns but not the whole picture. Avoid becoming Saggital Man/Woman. Tumble, hop and skip, roll, crawl, hang from a bar. Challenge your body by solving movement problems that require practice.
- Live your life more in accordance with our evolutionary biology that got us here and less according to the trappings and technology of modern society. Mark Sisson puts it nicely: Sometimes we get so lost in the science of human biology we just can’t see the forest for the trees. We overlook the simplicity and ease with which we could all be achieving exceptional health and fitness. Do more of this: Eat real food, squat, run fast, lift heavy things, play, sleep, use your mind. Do less of this: Sit, facebook, playstation, stay up late, chronic stress, eat crisps, poison your body.
Fitness is a small world within the universe of movement. I view it as a limited world…People who practice movement never miss anything.
- Sports Performance MSc, 2013
- Sport and Exercise Sciences, 2010
- UKSCA Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach, 2014
- Functional Range Conditioing practitioner, 2014
- NSCA, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, 2013
- Functional Movement Screen, 2013