Mick O'Dwyer's acid test for players at Curragh Army Camp was genius
The acid test.
Character was what he wanted. It wasn't about a player's fitness.
Because Micko knew that making his players run up a savage hill in the Curragh Army Camp wasn't going to be the making of them physically.
It told him a lot about their mentality, though, and that was all he wanted to know.
One of the biggest tales surrounding Mick O'Dwyer's greatness was that he would send his teams on long-distance runs. Deathly painful long distance runs.
He knows the scientists would tell him it's not sport specific, he knew they were right. But he did it for one reason and one reason alone. Character.
“That’s the way you’ll test the mentality of a player, distance stuff. In any other little tricks around, they’ll escape it or get away with it but if he’s a player that will give you 100 per cent, he’ll go the distance. That’s why we got to where we were with Kildare, with the amount of work we did at The Curragh. We did a pile of work at The Curragh," the GAA legend once told Conan Doherty.
A documentary called 'Micko' aired on RTÉ about the great man's life. A life more submerged in the GAA like nothing that has ever or will ever come to pass again.
He's still living that GAA life, and he will die living the GAA life.
"I'd like to be on the sideline watching or in the stand, and drop dead, that's the way I'd like it to happen," he said in the documentary.
There were so many engrossing moments in the thrilling documentary, but perhaps the most stirring of all was his description of those runs in the Curragh.
A description you can watch right here courtesy of RTÉ.
"This is where I found out if players were good enough to play for Kildare or not."
One man hid in the trees. You know what happened next.