Tuesday, 9 August 2011

In The Spotlight Christopher McKaigue (Sydney Swans)

On Saturday, Dublin disposed of Tyrone with a clinical, powerful and high energy performance.  As Paddy Heaney (I think it was Paddy) wrote in the Irish News today, any team that wants to match the Dubs will have to prepare accordingly. 

There was a mention of early morning, training sessions.  Sounds like nearly semi professional.  With players having busy lives, this is very often impossible. 

This weekend I was again in contact with Christopher McKaigue from AFL club Sydney Swans, I put a few questions to him about his training and preparation.  It would be interesting to know how it would compare against the inter county seniors teams over here.

So in a change away from cycling, it is the Slaughtneil man’s turn to be In The Spotlight.

Name: Chrissy McKaigue
Age: 21    Weight: 90kg    Height: 6ft2
Club: Sydney Swans

What is the hardest thing about adapting to AFL? The hardest thing about adapting to AFL from Gaelic is the tackle because when you get the ball it's a lot harder to get past someone, they can just drag you down. The kicking in straight lines is also a challenge rather than around the body in Gaelic.

How often to you train?
We train 5 days a week and play one game. Within that there are two main ball work sessions per week lasting 60mins each and a 20 min warm up beforehand.  

We do agility work and low intensity skills with coaches also between the main sessions. Then we have weights upper and lower body, pelvic stability, core work and meetings to fill in the other days.

What is the balance of training?
The in season programme is different to the pre season. Pre season is very intense lasting for a 3-4month period depending on success of the following year.

We train 6 days a week with Monday, Wednesday and Friday being the main sessions of running and ball work mainly running lasting up to 3 hours on the track.

The other days are weights sessions and on a Saturday morning we do a 7km time trial.

The in season mode is a lot less intense remaining fresh for games becomes the priority.
What are the recovery sessions?
Before a game we do a recovery session which consists of foam rollers, a walk and then a ice bath or dip in the beach. Some boys choose to do a bit of upper body weights the day before a game also.

How is your diet/hydration monitored?
We have a full time dietician employed at the club, our skinfold measurements for fat is checked every fortnight and used to work out our body fat percentage. 

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