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TSS Athletic Development Programme

TSS Run an Athletic Development Programme for our squads from U13 to Minor. 

The following is a note from Shane Smith which explains in depth the purpose of the programme and benefits to the developing teenager. 

The Athlete Development programme at TSS is about developing the all-round athlete by incorporating various areas of skill, strength and nutrition. Whilst strength and conditioning have become the "buzz words" in recent years, ensuring the all-round athlete is developed is key to our programme. It is delivered twice a week by me (Shane Smith) and my colleague Paul Hudson. Both myself and Paul have extensive playing experience and both hold an honours degree in Sports Science and Health.

With this in mind we cover 4 key areas.

1. Strength and conditioning.
2. Nutrition
3. Injury prevention.
4. Skill development.

The aspect of strength and conditioning will give the players a platform to gain strength with simple body weight exercises on a weekly basis, for example push ups, core strength and squats. These exercises will give the players a foundation of strength in their teens before they progress to lifting weights as they enter the minor and u21 grade. Ensuring players have a platform of strength prior to lifting weights will offer them a good foundation going forward.

During the programme we focus on nutrition and fuelling the body appropriately. A huge part of our athlete development is ensuring the players have a sensible balanced diet which includes the correct about of carbs, protein and fats. In doing so reducing sugary food and drinks is a key education tool we use with the players and encourage them to eat fresh whole foods. As well as this we have taken food diaries from the players to assess and advise on appropriate nutrition for Gaelic football.

A key component of athlete development is injury prevention. This can be achieved with regular flexibility and strength work to ensure muscles remain supple and strong. Another aspect of injury prevention is over training and over playing and we discuss these topics with the players regularly.

Finally, the most important aspect of the program is skill development. Ensuring the players develop their skill sets is key. During the programme we focus on developing the player’s ability to use both right and left side and encourage skill based coaching.

To conclude the Athlete development programme is about looking beyond the now and into the future. Offering the players the correct platform from early teens will form good habits around key areas like nutrition, strength and skills development.

Yours in Sport

Shane Smith
BSc Sports Science and Health.