Laois player wrote out 14 targets for year in October, met 10 by July 2 years ago

Laois player wrote out 14 targets for year in October, met 10 by July

It's a long year for a GAA player but Laois footballer Gary Walsh thought of a good way to keep himself on the straight and narrow.

His year began in November but he was already planning in October. The Ballylinan club man had a decent year for Laois in 2017 but he was adamant to make 2018 a better one.

Rather than going through the motions stumbling from one tough winter training session to the next, the sharpshooting forward listed out 14 targets on his phone that he was determined to meet in a chronological order.

Not all to do with his football career, many of Walsh's targets were based around his own day-to-day lifestyle, and his project offers a fascinating insight into the mindset of an inter-county player.

It just goes to show that a player's personal preparation outside of training is really what makes all the difference.

Here were his goals, with those he met marked with a tick, and those unfulfilled an x. He didn't do too badly.


They say all goals should be specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and timed. In fairness to Walsh, the majority of his aims comply.

We took a quick look at each target individually and assessed how each club player in the country can relate to them.

1 Start winter training Nov 1st...Check

It's time for the hard yards. Hit that gym and hit it hard. Ensure you've a proper programme and balance it with some running training. This is the slog, this will be worth it.

2 Miss no training because of beer before Christmas...Check

Between November and December is one of the few times that players actually have the chance to go out and enjoy themselves without worriying about drinking bans or the like.

Enjoy yourself, but not too much. Managers shouldn't mind you going on the beer, so long as you don't let it affect you in training.


3 Jan till end of champo, miss no training...Check

Don't be a hurler on the ditch. Plan it out so that you won't be forced to miss training, motivate yourself so that you won't want to.

4 No two day sessions of beer for the year...X

One day of beer is bad, the rollover sessions are ugly.

5 Lose half a stone before Jan 31st...Check

Mix the hard training with a balance diet, you won't go too far wrong. Some players may be trying to gain weight, the principles are the same.

6 Complete one extra session of frees per week...Check


"Champions are made when there's nobody watching."

Trainers always say that it's the work players put in themselves that makes the difference. It makes sense really.

7 Play in the O'Byrne Cup...Check

Hit the ground running early. A good pre-season is key to a good season.

8 Play in every League game for Laois...X

Consistency is key.

9 Score four or more goals in League...Check

"Aim high and you won't shoot your foot off."


10 Top scorer for Laois from play in League

Individual goals are crucial. Gary Walsh was the League's oveall top scorer out of all divisions.

11 Pass first year college...Check

A healthy mind is a healthy body.

12 Play every championship game for Laois...Check

If you're not in you can't win.

13 Top scorer for Laois from play in Champo...X

Walsh's League goals were the same as his championship ones but there's no denying that he made progress this year.

14 Score three or more goals in Champo...X

He didn't achieve this one, but if he stays away from those 'two day sessions' next year who knows where it might take him?