Insight into Jim McGuinness training methods should be heeded by all underage players.
It doesn’t take long to realise that Jim McGuinness is a special man when it comes to the GAA. He was the man behind Donegal’s recent rise back to a footballing superpower having taken over the senior football team in 2010 when they were at a low ebb.
Within two years he had secured Donegal’s first All-Ireland Championship since 1992 when they defeated Mayo in the 2012 All-Ireland Final. He also masterminded Donegal’s famous win over Dublin in the All-Ireland Semi Final in 2014, in a game where Jim Gavin’s men were heavy favourites.
McGuinness is the kind of man that you listen to when he speaks. A pundit with Sky Sports, McGuinnes was speaking to Joe Molloy from Off The Ball, ahead of Sky Sports championship coverage. In their interview, Molloy read a passage from McGuinness’ book which contains advice that should be brought forward by all young players across the country.
Referencing McGuinness’ first training as Donegal boss, the passage read,
‘Didn’t we agree to go all out? Then why are we giving 80%? Is that as hard as you can run? Are you telling me that’s hard as you can run? No. Then what’s holding you back? Why go 80% when deep down you want to go 100%?’
Then we go again, and we keep stopping and starting until we knew we were moving at the absolute maximum their bodies could give. Part of it was to improve fitness, but more important was to shake off their inhibitions, and just go for it. People are afraid. People are afraid to just leave it all out there in case they are judged negatively. It’s human nature.
We hold back, even though the most exhilarating and liberating thing you can do in your life is just to put yourself out there.
McGuinness would then continue with his interview, saying to Molloy,
My take on it would be that people are afraid to give everything they have and fail. Because then they are failure. But if people can say, ‘you know what, I still have 10% left within me to give, so I’m not a failure’. But there is nothing wrong with failure if you give your all. Nothing.
McGuinness’ words are truly an inspiration to anyone attempting to make it in the game.