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10th May 2023

“You physically can’t do anymore” – Meyler learning to accept that he has enough done

Niall McIntyre

For Conor Meyler, the challenge isn’t the training, the challenge is actually the resting.

The Omagh St Enda’s club-man is perhaps the perfect exponent of the obsessive and dedicated modern inter-county player.

He wears a tracker watch on his wrist and trains like a demon.

He’s even more obsessive than most players, however, in that he takes a cold bath, meditates and then tapes his mouth before he sleeps.

The idea of the taped-mouth is to promote nasal breathing, which helps with the heart-rate. His resting heart-rate, as it happens, is an abnormally low 37, which would compare to that of an ultra-marathon runner.

It all shows the endless lengths players will go to in pursuit of success but for this self confessed date-geek, the biggest challenge, as he explains on The GAA Hour, is accepting that he has enough done – that he can’t do anymore.

“I think the way GAA is now,” says Meyler, “it’s as professional if not more than other sports.

“I have spent a lot of time looking at other sports and, just the nature of who I am, I would be quite curious to see what are other people doing in other sports and how they’ve got there.”

“At the moment, three to four nights on the field, you have your nutritionists, psychologists, players working one-on-one with coaches – you have all that, so I really don’t know where the next stage is.”

If there are any more one-percenters out there, still to be found, you can take it for granted that this 28-year-old will find them before most.


“For me, sometimes, it’s about getting to a point of letting go,” he admits.

“In the past, I would have been so consumed that I’d be trying to do more and more and more to the point where it just breaks you down. You physically can’t do anymore.

“Learning to switch off is something I’ve got better at,” he adds.

“You have to go down the mountain before you climb again. Peaking for the games is the priority, so learning to taper off and recover is key.”

So how does he do it? For some players it’s a few pints over the off-season, a foreign holiday – for Meyler it’s a holiday, a walk with his girlfriend, a coffee with his mates.

“I keep moving.

“If I retire I’ll be training anyway.

“But I try to get a few foreign holidays pencilled in (during the year.) Switching off for me would look like going to the sauna, going for a walk with my girlfriend, going to the coffee shop with good company. All those things work.”

“Learning to let go and accepting the fact that it’s a game and there’s so much that can be left the chance.

“You factor in your skill-work and you just have to accept that the work’s been done and on game day then to go out and play with freedom, abandonment and enjoyment – because that’s what you fell in love with in the first place, as a cub – the game.”

Meyler had a real ding-dong battle with Monaghan’s Stephen O’Hanlon in Tyrone’s Ulster quarter final loss recently. That’s what he plays the game for.

“I did enjoy it. Stephen was someone we’d have targeted as Monaghan’s main men.

“So I’d have done a lot of homework on him. I love those battles. It was ding-dust stuff.

“When you’re marking top players, you just have to accept that they can get inside you like Stephen did for the goal.

“I know Stephen from being out in Chicago last summer, he pushed me the whole way, you shake hands after, you smile and have a laugh with each other.”

You can listen to the full interview, at the end of the show here.

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