As the inter-county league section of the season draws to a close, the club leagues are just kicking off.
Unlike in the mens’ set up, the girls play with their clubs throughout the year, as in many of the cases the clubs would struggle for numbers and performances in games.
It is difficult to balance club and county throughout the season but all the girls on the team do their best to give 100% to both their teams. Also an issue that exists in GAA is the presence of dual players. There are a number of players in the county competing at both camogie and football. This requires huge effort on the players behalf but also on the behalf of the teams they are part of. The teams in question are expected to be understanding when events clash, flexible to move dates and fixtures, while also sticking to fixture deadlines.
Injuries are often hard to avoid when playing one sport or indeed on one team, but for some of the girls it is a way of life as they try to participate in all teams. It is vital that we as players balance rest with exercise, and take part in proper recovery after the game. Ladies football is so competitive within each county but also at inter county level, with any amount of teams at top level fighting for All Ireland success. It has been said it is easier to get to the top, then to stay at the top. In order for us as players to stay injury free,we have to concentrate on recovery and training but we also have to rely on the understanding of our county boards, clubs and teammates when it comes to balancing everything.
Proper and effective recovery allows stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will become tired and hence continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. Symptoms of overtraining often occur from a lack of recovery time. Signs of overtraining include a feeling of general staleness, decreased sports performance and increased risk of injury, among many other issues.
In order for all this to happen effectively there needs to be clear channels of communication between all the parties involved, otherwise what could be a long and illustrious career could be cut short by many years. In my opinion there is already a short enough career span in Ladies Football and Camogie. I know that any of the girls playing with their county do not want their career cut short because of over playing or over training. Injuries such as cruciate ligament and cartilage amongst many other severe career threatening injuries have become all too prevalent and while they can’t all be attributed to over playing they certainly are contributing a factor. Despite all this hidden work and understanding the support that the girls teams receive at inter county or club games is minimal.