Monday 26 June 2017

The season of burnout madness has begun

'Rank-and-file GAA people continue to scoff at the very notion of burnout and the risks it poses to young players. Is it any wonder the biggest dropout rate in football occurs between the ages of 18 and 21?' Photo: Sportsfile
'Rank-and-file GAA people continue to scoff at the very notion of burnout and the risks it poses to young players. Is it any wonder the biggest dropout rate in football occurs between the ages of 18 and 21?' Photo: Sportsfile
Eugene McGee

Eugene McGee

The sheer abuse of U-21 footballers must be the greatest disgrace in GAA fixture-making.

Last weekend, several counties started playing off in the Hastings Cup competition which is a warm-up for the provincial competitions in the grade.

In a year's time, in the weeks leading up to Christmas 2016, there will still be lots of these players involved in their local U-21 county championships.

In most counties U-21 seems to be the 'hind-tit' of competitions and viewed as the one to be played off when everything else is finished.

In the meantime, these young men will be involved in an orgy of competitive games - most notably from now until early March - when the majority will be preparing for and taking part in the various third level competitions such as the Sigerson Cup.

The Leinster and Ulster U-21 championship will also commence during this period.

This is pure madness and breaks all the rules about avoiding mental and physical burnout.

Yet rank-and-file GAA people continue to scoff at the very notion of burnout and the risks it poses to young players.

Is it any wonder the biggest drop-out rate in football occurs between the ages of 18 and 21?

But who cares?

Ah sure, they are only young players after all.

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