What Paul Geaney had to do to make it in Kerry is a real eye-opener
Paul Geaney admits it, they hate him for not working the late shifts in his father's pub in Dingle.
"On bank holidays during the summer," he tells The GAA Hour, "I might be up until 12 or 1am but then it is straight to bed. I look after myself in the summer.
"Sleep is one of the most important things. I was always good at sleeping but I keep saying to my aul' fella how important it is for inter-county footballers and their recovery. I do be showing him the articles on the Real Madrid players having sleeping pods inside the Bernabeu!"
As of today, Paul Geaney Sr. has not installed a sleeping pod in his bar.
There is an affable, laid-back nature about Geaney. He has an All Star, an All-Ireland and two Munster titles to his name but despite outward appearances of not being rushed [see picture below], the 26-year-old is eager to push on.
Geaney, who was speaking at the launch of Lidl Comórtas Peile Páidí Ó Sé 2017, has the ability to score from seemingly impossible angles and do damage to teams off either foot. He has taken after Kingdom teammate Kieran Donaghy in being able to pluck a ball from the heavens and make things happen.
Such skills don't come easy and Geaney's description of his training routines are a great example for any aspiring players. He says:
"I had just two wides last year so [scoring from play] was something I really nailed down but it is something I need to work on again this year - try and be 100% or close enough. Perfection is what it is all about, especially around inter-county level and if you want to win All-Irelands; you need to be perfect.
"We had Paidí [O Sé] for the school team. He came down and took over when we were in fifth year. He used to say: 'People say practice makes perfect. I don't believe in that. Perfect practice makes perfect!'
"That is something that stuck with me and why I aim to get 100% perfect. I'm making sure that when I am kicking on my own, everything is going over. I'm working towards that, going up a level and up a level."
Geaney reveals that most of his kicking practice is done on his own with a bag of balls and the elements for company. He continues:
"Maybe, the odd time, you'll get someone to kick the ball out to you. My little cousins are fairly handy themselves so I might ask them.
"I always, when I was younger, used to go out to the angles and practice my free and work on my style of kicking. The technique; left and right. As I got more confident, I started jogging and went to the angles. As I got older, I started going into a match-day mentality and was visualising being tackled and stuff. Throwing dummies or stopping, taking a step back and shooting."
Geaney was convinced he was on the right track when he read one of Malcom Gladwell book's and noted the author's philosophy of dedicated practice and putting in 10,000 hours to give yourself the best chance of making it.
"If you calculate the time [I've put in], I'm nowhere near that."
High standards but, sure, you'd expect nothing less in The Kingdom.
*The full Paul Geaney interview will be available on The GAA Hour later today