If we think back to last season we could all probably think of a team or even our own team who had players missing for vital games. Could these players have made a difference to the final result? The question for us as coaches is, can we be proactive in stopping these injuries from occurring. There are a number of ways to do this but one of the simplest ways to start this process is by introducing the Gaelic 15 injury prevention warm up.
There are always going to be injuries in Gaelic games and nobody involved in coaching is naive enough to think you can avoid all injuries, but as you read through this piece think about avoidable injuries such as “soft tissue muscle injuries” and “non contact type injuries”. These injuries are avoidable or at the very least can be greatly reduced. Coaches play a role in preventing these injuries rather than reacting when it is too late.
No. of players who get injured in one year
Players who have more than one injury in any season
Lower limbs Injuries (majority been “soft tissue injuries”)
Hamstring Injuries(most common “soft tissue injury”)
17 – 23%
Non contact injuries
The GAA Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee comprises of a large number of experts in the area(Containing Dr. Pat O’Neill, Prof. Niall Moyna, Dr. Pat Duggan, Dr. Kieran Moran, John C. Murphy, Dr. Catherine Blake, and Edwenia O’Malley) and have been working with UCD Physiotherapy in developing a framework for injury prevention in Gaelic game. They first step in this process was to developed the National Injury database to identify what type of injuries occur in Gaelic games. This data has been collected on injury trends in Hurling and Gaelic Football from 2007 to 2015.
The second step in the process was to develop an injury prevention warm up. The committee came up with what is known as the Gaelic 15 injury prevention warm up.
The Gaelic 15 warm up consists of 3 different sections with 19 different exercises.
Section 1: slow running and dynamic type movements
Section 2: strengthening, balance, jumping and landing exercises
Section 3: sports specific movements
Click on this link to view a recording of the Gaelic 15 warm up been performed with an academy squad at the Connacht GAA centre. Other useful resource for the Gaelic 15 warm up is the GAA e-learning website http://learning.gaa.ie/GAA15 you can access individual exercise videos & obtain printable PDF`s of warm-up structure and exercise pictures with relevant exercise instruction.
Finally one of the criticisms of the warm up is that it does not involve a football or hurl. I would advice coaches to do the Gaelic 15 warm without the ball or hurl for the first six weeks so that you; the coach and the players can get to know the structure of the warm up and all the exercises. Once everyone is familiar with the techniques and structures, you can be creative and integrate a football or hurl into the warm up once you follow the correct sequence and structure outlined by the warm up. In the coming weeks we will post a video of how you can incorporate a football into this warm up.
Remember keeping your players injury free and on the field all year round will be key to your teams development
Strength & Conditioning Officer,