The Antrim Minor Hurling Management team held a very successfuL Parents/Players Information evening in St Louis’, Ballymena on Monday night with several guest speakers in attendance.
Paul Mc Flynn, teacher and former Derry footballer addressed the audience. Speaking about issues which affected him as a player of their age, many of which are still relevant today, he outlined the challenges affecting all the elite players and how important it was to find the right playing/studying balance. He spoke about his student days and how it was possible to study and attend all training sessions without fear of underachieving.
Dr Nicholas Mc Naughton from Loughgiel spoke about health and fitness, the many demands placed on players and the importance of a balanced diet and rest. He also talked about his hurling career at club, school and university level and about boxing for Scorpion boxing club, Ballymoney.
Paul McFlynn, Dr Nicholas McNaughton, Director of Hurling Neil Peden and Dr Noel Brick.
Neil Peden, Antrim’s first Director of Hurling informed the players of the pathway that Antrim hurling was trying to establish and compared our teams to southern opposition, comparing the physical condition of their players to ours and how he hoped that many of the players present would go on and play for the Antrim seniors. He finished off by informing the minor boys that they were being treated the same as the seniors in that they were training in the same facilities and had access to the same doctors, physios and dietitians.
Last on the stage was Dr Noel Brick, who spoke about sports psychology, how the elite players have mental toughness, how they deal with mistakes during games and the ability to refocus/re-establish themselves in the ‘zone’.