The art of hurling

Daire Whelan
Mercier Press
There is something special about the GAA. I’ve been involved in numerous conversations with people steeped in different sports about the nature of sport. People who, whilst participating, have put in endless hours of work to teach success. Achieving positive results do have a correlation with the amount of work you out in, regardless of your endeavor and that’s not just sport.
For many not involved the GAA stands for grab all association. For many who play Gaelic games it is part of who they are. It can help define them. It is a community they belong to, a heartbeat of their very being. Sport has winners and losers and the GAA is no different to other team sports. People play on teams and teams compete in tournaments. These tournaments only have one set of winners medals.
Daire Whelan has spoken to 11 successful managers whose teams have won winners medals, many against the odds. He tries to get behinds the minds of these men. To try and get some insight into how they were successful. I was waiting excitedly to get my teeth into it. To see if some secrets were going to be shared.  Our season is about to start so maybe the art of success could give me a slight advantage over others.
I set aside time on Christmas Day to get through this and learn. It’s not full of insight but the characters all have interesting stories. At times it comes across as condensed biographies (or maybe extended Wikipedia pages) of each individual. We get a taste if what they’ve done with their teams. It all comes down to honesty and integrity. Much of the newer methods around  statistics and strength and conditioning get short shrift. These people are of a generation that gets teams to work hard and show inspiration through action and nobody can question whether it didn’t work.

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