Despite the fact that many top inter county players argued that it was not possible to play both inter county hurling and football, A year long study in Tipperary makes the surprising claim that dual players are less likely to pick up injury compared to those playing only one code of sport. This is according to Tipperary’s former All-Ireland winning trainer Liam Hennessy.
Ronan Hogan and Luke Jordan, two Setanta College researchers discovered the findings after the year long research.
Hennessy explained the findings,
“They compared the dual player workload with the single code player, either hurling or football.”
“Ironically, it’s come up as a kind of paradox. Because the workloads of dual players are greater than either of the codes individually, they may be less likely to incur an injury, simply because they have a greater workload.
“That’s a paradox because we have always thought that we have to be very careful with workload, and can’t have it too high.”
Hennessy warned that this is not an invitation to management teams to over-work young players or put too much pressure on them to play numerous codes.
Hennessy has also highlighted how the occurrence of soft tissue injuries, in particular hamstring injuries, are on the increase,
“Across all sports, hamstring injuries are increasing annually. Players are getting more hamstring strains and soft tissue injuries. Even with the vast expansion of county team support systems, set-ups and personnel, injury rates are increasing year on year.”
Speaking on the latest RTE GAA Podcast, Hennessy added,
“There’s no excuse for not knowing the tolerance level of workload for any player. You can gauge it properly and with a proper tapering period in the two weeks before a championship game, any player should be hitting the ground running, and injury risk should be at an all-time low at that stage.”
These findings may dispel the myth that playing inter county at both codes is impossible.