"The game has moved on" - Two handed pick-up a myth of the past 3 months ago

"The game has moved on" - Two handed pick-up a myth of the past

What are your memories of your first hurling session?

Bend your back and put the two hands on the hurl.

What are you still being told as a senior hurler?

'Two hands!'

God forbid you fail to pick up the ball with your fancy Dan, one handed, cocky and lazy one handed attempt because if you do, you'll have 24 teammates and a full stand barking.

'Two flippin hands!'

You figure it out yourself at some stage. You could be messing around at the wall-ball, you could be flicking around in the yard or you could be pucking at the pitch.

Ball manipulation is what it's all about and when you're looking for speed, efficiency and - the one handed rise is the way forward.

Derek McGrath wrote recently in his Irish Examiner column that it only occurred twice in the 2017 All-Ireland senior hurling final between Waterford and Galway that the ball was risen by a player who had two hands on the hurl.

Players just don't have the time anymore.

Colm Parkinson and Cheddar Plunkett discussed the science of rising the ball on Thursday's GAA Hour Hurling Show and Cheddar told a few home truths.

"The game has moved on," says Cheddar matter-of-factly.

"There are certain situations where you might need to use the two hands in a ruck ball for example, where you're planting two feet over the ball. You'll more than likely use the two hands at that stage so that you're not knocked off the ball or you don't spill it very easily, but 90% of the time you're going at pace to the ball. You take it at one hand, one touch into the hand and you do not break stride and you go forward..."

Tony Kelly runs faster when he has a ball to contend with on the ground in front of him.

"All players have that quality. The day of putting the two hands on the hurley (is gone,) says Cheddar.

"I hear it shouted off of banks and stands so much. 'Clear your lines, drive it in, two hands on the hurley and that - two hands on the hurley and I can guarantee you every player in the country is 20 yards gone by you by the time you get two hands on the hurley. It's a specific skill, but the game is all about speed and skill.

"Look, if you slow down and bend over a ball coming into it, you're going to be giving it away - at county level anyway...."

There's no harm learning, and coaching the basics at an early age.

"I think it probably is good at the nursery and all of that to start off with two hands on the hurley - because it disciplines youngsters then.

But from 16/17 onwards, it's all about the pace.

"But certainly once you get into adult level, or to 16/17 even - most possessions will be won by sprinting at pace to the ball - take the ball to hand - not break stride and then sprint and deliver..."

Just imagine Shane O'Donnell had put two hands on the hurl...

You can listen to this debate, and much more from Thursday's GAA Hour Show here.