Fail To Prepare Then Prepare To Fail

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Solid Foundations

One of the corner stones of my coaching philosophy is for the athletes and teams I work with to perform their training and matchday preparations to a very high standard. We have all heard the phrase, “Fail to prepare then you prepare to fail”. The mind/body doesn’t distinguish between what is practice and what is competition. Therefore, I truly believe consistently working on appropriate warmup, prehab, jumping, running mechanic & ball skill routines establishes a superb chronic foundation of basic fundamental movement competencies necessary for elevated performance. They form part of the habits of a winning mindset.

Are Time Constraints Devaluing Preparation?

Unfortunately, I have seen a trend in recent years of preparation becoming rushed and in some cases overrated. I understand the time constraints are an issue in most coaching environments, however quality cannot be rushed. I refer to another quote “If you have the time, I have the quality”. As both a GAA skills and S&C coach I can step into the bias of time priority of both camps.  Let me perhaps change the narrative on time! Which is more time efficient and effecitve? 6 weeks rehab plus 6 week return to play vrs 20 – 30mins quality preparation time to minimise injury risk and aid performance. Its just a no brainer in my opinion!

My advice is, if you are a really good coach you’ll use the time available to you efficiently and effectively.

  1. Be specific in setting the session goals.
  2. Design a session that meets the objective of the session goal within your time constraints & be prepared to adapt in session (When the artist & scientist become one).
  3. Prepare your athletes correctly for that session load and objective.
  4. Execute and recover appropriately.

Consistent Habits vrs Technological Magic Pills

Maybe also part of the problem is preparation / prehab is not sexy enough anymore. We now live in a technological world of wearable devices from velocity based training to GPS. They are fantastic tools which I use myself, however, what chance does a bodyweight mobility exercise, roller, mini band, skipping rope or football have against the next cool APP. I often question whether the basic consistent habits of preparation, hard work and deliberate practice are being replaced by technological magic pills? This is partly the reason why I have changed the way I use these devices with athletes to now find individual limitations, via athletic profiling, to guide future training programmes.

Conditioning Behaviour

I have always loved the conditioning element of Strength and Conditioning. I have always felt its the game changer in field based team sport. When I talk about conditioning I just don’t necessarily mean the aerobic anaerobic  continuum. The definition of conditioning is very interesting! “The process of training a persons behaviour in a certain way”.

As a strength and conditioning & skills coach I provide a constraints based processed environment to help athletes explore and learn new behaviours to improve their sports performance. When these performance enhancing behaviours are established over time, then thats when i see great things happen. Its like the start of a drag car race, the athletes take ownership of the process and then watch them go!

Some Free Resources For You

So to help you master the brilliant basic habits of preparation here’s some free resources including video links and posters

Gimme 5

Gimme 5








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Foam Rolling

Foam Rolling








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Click Here For Foam Rolling Video Playlist

Mini Bands

Mini Bands








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Click Here For Mini Band Video Playlist


Prehab 1 Prehab 2 Prehab 3Prehab 4







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Click Here For Team Sport Prehab Video Playlist

Want Our Free Prehab Posters For Your Club Or Athletes?

If you would like original jpeg copies of our Foam Rolling, Mini Band and Prehab Posters for your club or athletes just send us an email or use the contact form below. We would be happy to email you these free of charge. All we ask is please link up with us via your preferred social media platform and share our pages.

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