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21st May 2019

The case for missing training during exam time


It’s very easy to come down on anyone who tells you they can’t give up two hours during exam season.

Around this time every year, training pitches gradually empty as Leaving Certs, GCSEs, A-Levels and college exams start taking over.

If you’re an underage coach, you’ve probably tried everything you can in your power to convince people to stop ditching training so they can save more time for study. You’ve maybe cut the sessions to once a week, promised them they’ll be gone in 60 minutes but, day by day, your squad evaporates into libraries and exam halls and you won’t see them again until the end of June.

It can be hard to stomach. Is anyone really spending all that time studying that they genuinely don’t have two hours to spare twice a week to get a bit of fresh air into the lungs and blood pumping through the veins? It’d be unhealthy, you ration, if anyone actually was committed to studying for 14 hours a day with time set aside only for sleeping, commuting and maybe eating here and there.

But no rhyme or reason is going to get them back on the pitch and, as is the natural order of the universe, the older players in the dressing room who were once in the very same situation are now either poking fun or taking aggressive swipes at the younger generation for missing training.

However, on Monday’s episode of PlayXPlay, Dublin footballer Niamh McEvoy offered a defence for those missing in action the library.

The Sylvester’s star spoke about her own experience of sitting exams and how there’s more to it than just making it to training – it’s about being right for training.

And, for anyone sitting the Leaving Cert or any test right now and feeling the pressure from the sports team too, McEvoy’s point is essential.

Listen below from 06:51:

The Dublin forward is lucky to have a manager as understanding as Mick Bohan at the helm who takes a player-centric approach to training.

And it’s crucial for someone like McEvoy who has benefitted from that management and was one of two Dublin players voted onto the 2019 Lidl Team of the League.

“We’d find it a lot with a club, there’s a lot of girls doing Leaving Certs and stuff and there wouldn’t be as many people at training,” McEvoy explained.

“I’m actually doing exams at the minute, at the end of my Masters, and I find it really difficult to go training and I probably feel as though I’m not preparing for training and stuff the same way because you’re just sitting in the library for five hours and then you’re going training.

“Whereas when you’re in work, you’re probably moving around or you have like a two hour break before training and you can mobilise or whatever but I actually feel like exams are negatively impacting my preparation.

“But Mick and the people involved in Dublin would be really good in a sense that they have an awareness of your schedule, they know you’re doing exams so they kind of make sure that you’re not putting yourself in a position where you’d be getting an injury.

“But it’s definitely, I think, really hard to balance.”

PlayXPlay is released every Monday evening. Subscribe here.

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