Your Guide to the GAA on TV this Weekend

With a busy weekend of sport ahead, we’ve got you covered with this guide for all the GAA on TV this weekend.

We love our GAA at Intersport Elverys and this guide has all the details of this weekend’s GAA fixtures.

We’ve got all the bases covered.

 

GAA on TV this Weekend: Saturday, May 25 2024

GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship

Dublin v Roscommon at 5pm on GAAGO
in Croke Park

Louth v Meath at 5.30pm
in Inniskeen

Armagh v Westmeath at 6pm
in Athletic Grounds Armagh

Donegal v Tyrone at 7.15pm on GAA
in Ballybofey

GAA on TV this Weekend: Sunday, May 25 2024

Leinster GAA Hurling Senior Championship

Kilkenny v Wexford at 2pm on GAAGO
in Nowlan Park

Galway v Dublin at 2pm on RTÉ Sport
in Pearse Stadium

Antrim v Carlow at 2pm
in Corrigan Park, Belfast

Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship

Tipperary v Clare at 4pm
in Semple Stadium

Limerick v Waterford at 4pm on RTÉ Sport
in TUS Gaelic Grounds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gaa on tv this weekend


Exploring the Different Types of Mouthguards: A Comprehensive Guide

There are many different types of mouthguard, or gumshields, and we know trying to pick the right one can be confusing.

There’s all shapes, sizes and prices to choose from.

And unfortunately they are not a one size fits all!

However they play such an important part of the GAA right now in preventing serious facial and dental injuries, so getting the right one is really important.

In this blog we’re going to explore the different types of mouthguard or gumshield, the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of each one.

So if you’re a parent, footballer or sports professional, this blog will help you.

Why Choosing the Right Type of Mouthguard Matters

In case you weren’t aware, mouthguards are now compulsory in the GAA. We have all that covered in this blog.

But essentially, the mouthguard or gumshield could be the difference between getting a horrible and potentially expensive dental bill or escaping without one.

Here are some quick reasons why getting the right one matters:

  1. Preventing Dental Injuries
  2. Protecting Against jaw fractures
  3. Reducing the risk of soft tissue injuries
  4. Help in the fight against concussion
  5. Boost confidence and importance

Types of Mouthguard: Custom Fitted

When it comes to mouthguard protection, custom-fitted mouthguards are regarded as the gold standard.

These mouthguards are professionally crafted to fit each person’s particular tooth and gum shapes.

What you should know about specially moulded mouthguards is as follows:

Personalised Fit

The unique fit of custom-fitted mouthguards is one of its main benefits.

They are made using exact impressions made by dental professionals, guaranteeing a perfect fit with the wearer’s dental anatomy.

Superior comfort, stability, and retention are provided throughout sporting activities by this tailored fit.

types of mouthguard

Best Protection

Custom-fitted mouthguards offer the best defence due to their specialised design.

They provide greater coverage and impact absorption because they cover all of the teeth and gums.

The exact fit helps disperse pressures uniformly, lowering the risk of soft tissue trauma, jaw fractures, and dental problems.

Speak Clearly and more comfortable

One of the most annoying things about wearing mouthguards is not being able to speak clearly with them in.

However, the comfort of custom-fitted mouthguards is well known.

The normally high-quality and flexible materials utilized enable a secure fit that doesn’t restrict speaking or breathing.

On the field, athletes can communicate clearly without the mouthguard posing an extra discomfort or obstacle.

Durability

These mouthguards are made to survive repeated use.

They are made of strong, durable materials that ensure the mouthguard will hold up even when put under a lot of physical strain.

Custom-fitted mouthguards have a longer lifespan than other mouthguard kinds when taken care of properly.

Professional fit

In order to have a custom-fitted mouthguard, dental experts are needed.

They build a mouthguard that is specifically suited to the person’s requirements after taking impressions of their teeth.

This expert advice guarantees that the mouthguard fits precisely and offers the best protection.

types of mouthguard

Remember though, while customer fitted mouthguards are the best type to get, expect to pay considerably more for them.

So, if you think you might lose it or misplace it, then maybe it’s not the best option.

Types of Mouthguard: Boil and Bite

In order to balance convenience and customisation, many athletes and GAA players choose boil-and-bite mouthguards.

These mouthguards are simply fitted at home and are widely accessible at sporting goods stores.

What you should know about boil-and-bite mouthguards is as follows:

Fitting Process

Boil-and-bite mouthguards are made to fit a specific person’s mouth through a fitting procedure.

The thermoplastic material used to create the mouthguard softens when submerged in hot water.

It is put in the mouth after boiling and formed by chewing down on it.

The mouthguard can be moulded to fit a person’s teeth and gums with the use of heat and pressure.

Semi-Custom Fit

Boil-and-bite mouthguards have the benefit of providing a semi-custom fit.

The capacity to mold the mouthguard allows for some personalisation to the individual’s dental architecture, though not as precisely as custom-fitted mouthguards.

In comparison to stock mouthguards, this enhances fit, comfort, and protection.

Affordability

In terms of bang for buck, boil and bite mouthguards are a great option.

Mouthguards that you boil and bite are reasonably priced and generally accessible at sporting goods stores.

For athletes who need a better fit than stock mouthguards but might not have access to custom-fitted choices or who choose a more affordable option, they provide an affordable option.

Comfort and Protection

By covering the teeth and gums, these mouthguards offer a respectable amount of protection.

A tight fit is made possible by the moulding process, which improves comfort and retention during physical activity.

The thermoplastic material provides some shock absorption, lowering the risk of soft tissue trauma and dental problems.

Not the perfect fit

Boil-and-bite mouthguards have some benefits, but they also have some drawbacks.

The fit might not be as accurate as solutions that are specifically made for them, and athletes with unusual dental or orthodontic traits might have trouble finding the perfect fit.

They could also need to be updated more regularly because the material might not be as long-lasting as mouthguards that are fitted specifically for you.

When players need a better fit and protection than stock mouthguards can offer, such as during GAA games, boil-and-bite mouthguards are ideal. To achieve the best fit and level of protection, it’s crucial to carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions during the fitting process.

Types of Mouthguard: Stock Mouthguards

Stock mouthguards are ready-to-wear, pre-formed mouthguards that may be bought off the shelf.

Compared to customised and boil-and-bite choices, they may have restrictions but offer ease and rapid usability.

What you should know about generic mouthguards is as follows:

Standard Fit

Based on the general age ranges, stock mouthguards are available in a variety of sizes, often small, medium, and large.

Athletes and GAA players must pick the mouthguard that fits them the best from the available selections because these mouthguards are neither adjustable nor customised.

The fit might not be as exact as mouthguards that are custom-made or boil-and-bite.

Convenience and Affordability

One of the main benefits of stock mouthguards is their accessibility and low cost.

They can frequently be found in random shops, online and sports shops.

Stock alternatives are an accessible and affordable solution for athletes who need a minimal level of protection or who need a temporary mouthguard.

They also don’t require any fitting so can be worn straight out of the box.

 

Limited Comfort

Stock mouthguards offer a minimum amount of protection, but because they cannot be customised, they may not fit you perfectly.

The fitting could be slack or thick, which could have an impact on comfort, memory, and speech.

With stock mouthguards that don’t fit tightly, athletes may struggle to speak clearly or breathe comfortably.

Limited Protection and Durability

Stock mouthguards may provide less protection than custom-fit or boil-and-bite solutions because to their standardised design.

Some teeth and gums may not be completely covered by the fit, leaving them open to injury.

Furthermore, the materials used in pre-made mouthguards could not be as strong, resulting in a shorter lifespan and a greater need for replacements.

 

Stock mouthguards have their time and place in the game. However, they are much less effective than their counterparts.

They can be appropriate for athletes who play low-impact sports or those who have temporary dental work.

However, custom-fitted or boil-and-bite mouthguards are typically advised for better fit, comfort, and protection for people taking part in high-impact sports like GAA games, where the risk of orofacial injuries is higher.

Conclusion

No matter the type of mouthguard selected, adequate maintenance and care are essential to ensure longevity and cleanliness too.

The mouthguard should be cleaned with fresh water after each use, kept in a ventilated container, and kept out of extreme heat or sunshine.

Keep an eye out for signs of wear and tear on the mouthguard and replace it as needed.

Remember, a high-quality mouthguard is an investment in your oral health, general wellbeing, and sports performance.

Check our Intersport Elverys range HERE or below.

types of mouthguard


Mouthguards in the GAA: Everything you need to Know

Player welfare and safety is a really important element in the GAA right now and mouthguards, or gumshields, are a piece of equipment not to be overlooked.

As the game increases in speed and physicality, a mouthguard can be the difference between a serious injury and a sizeable dental bill too!

Since 2013, the GAA introduced the rule that all players in all grades must wear a mouthguard or gumshield in both Gaelic football and Ireland – training and games.

They say that the introduction of the rule led to a drop of 37% in dental injury claims in 2013.

Players are susceptible to a variety of injuries without a mouthguard, from tooth fractures to more serious jaw and head trauma.

mouthguards in the gaa

They also greatly lower their risk of suffering such injuries by donning a mouthguard that is properly fitted, allowing them to concentrate on giving their best effort.

And keeping that beautiful smile intact!

In this series of blogs, we’ll delve deeper into all things mouthguards in the GAA, examining various types, offering advice on how to pick the best one, and offering ideas for appropriate care and maintenance.

Read on for more.

Mouthguards in the GAA: Promoting Safety

The GAA has introduced a number of rules and regulations down through the years to help and improve safety for players.

For instance, hurling helmets were made compulsory around the same time as mouthguards too.

Hurling was a pretty bloody sport back in the day, and you can find out more about this in this blog on the History of Hurling!

The mandated use of mouthguards fosters a culture of player safety among the GAA community in addition to serving as a deterrent to potential injuries.

mouthguards in the gaa

The GAA’s contribution to player safety goes beyond just enforcing the rules.

The group actively works with dentists, dental associations, and subject-matter specialists to spread the word and instruct players, coaches, and parents about the value of mouthguards.

Like a lot of things, the introduction got off to a slow start but now it is really encouraging to see how players and parents have really embraced the use of them.

The Benefits of using Mouthguards in the GAA

While playing Gaelic football, hurling, or camogie, wearing a mouthguard has many advantages that go beyond merely following the GAA’s regulations.

In order to protect players’ tooth health, avoid facial injuries, and improve general safety on the field, mouthguards are essential.

Let’s examine some of the main advantages of using mouthguards in GAA.

Protect your Teeth and Gums

The protective barrier that mouthguards create between the upper and lower teeth serves as a shield.

They efficiently disperse and absorb the pressures that can be generated during crashes or unintentional contact, reducing the possibility of dental injuries including broken, chipped, or knocked-out teeth.

mouthguards in the gaa

Additionally, mouthguards aid in preventing cuts or lacerations to the gums from hits or collisions.

A survey from the Irish Dental Association found that Gaelic is the sport that causes the most dental injuries for children, ahead of hurling and rugby.

Reduced Risk of Jaw Injuries

Mouthguards help to avoid jaw injuries in addition to providing tooth protection.

Mouthguards lower the possibility of injuries to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) or fractures of the jawbone, which can happen as a result of blows to the face by absorbing the impact pressures.

A mouthguard that is properly fitted will form a cushion zone that will absorb and distribute forces, reducing the risk of injury to the jaw region.

Less Risk of Facial Trauma

Fast-paced play, physical contact, and the use of hurleys or footballs during Gaelic activities can result in unintentional face blows.

The danger of laceration, bruising, and other soft tissue injuries is decreased thanks to the layer of protection that mouthguards offer for the lips, cheeks, and tongue.

Mouthguards serve as a cushion, absorbing and distributing impacts to lessen the severity of any facial injuries.

Potential risk of concussion

Although mouthguards primarily shield the teeth and jaws, concussion risk may also be decreased by using them.

Some studies indicate that mouthguards may help in absorbing and dissipating forces that may cause concussions, while further study is required to establish a causal link.

Even though they shouldn’t be viewed as a sure-fire technique of preventing concussions, mouthguards can help to ensure player safety when used in conjunction with other preventative measures.

More confidence leading to better performance

On the pitch, athletes’ confidence may increase if they are confident in their protection.

Players may concentrate on their performance without unnecessarily worrying or being afraid of potential injuries when they feel safer and more protected.

Their general gameplay, decision-making, and capacity to fully immerse themselves in the sport can all benefit from this improved confidence.

Importance of Properly fitted mouthguards in the GAA

A mouthguard or gumshield will only work properly if it is fitted correctly.

Admittedly, wearing one that is not fitted correctly is still better than not wearing one at all.

But for the optimum protection, comfort and effectiveness, you need it fitted snug.

Best Protection

A mouthguard that is properly fitted will effectively cover and shield the teeth, gums, and jaw.

This ensures a consistent level of protection throughout the whole game or practice session and reduces the chance that the mouthguard may come off during play.

This snug fit aids in evenly distributing and absorbing impact forces, lowering the risk of soft tissue trauma, jaw fractures, and dental injuries.

Comfort and Breathability

The comfort of the player depends on the mouthguard’s fit.

Uncomfortable, bulky mouthguards that restrict speech or breathing might cause distractions and worse than expected performance on the field.

On the other hand, a mouthguard that is properly fitted feels more comfortable and enables athletes to concentrate on their game without unneeded discomfort or interruptions.

It maintains its position firmly, enabling regular mouth movements for team members to communicate normally.

Reduced risk of mouthguard related injuries

Risks can arise from a mouthguard that doesn’t fit properly.

Too loose or bulky mouthguards run the risk of rubbing or irritating the soft tissues in the mouth, which can cause pain, ulcers, or sores.

Furthermore, if they come free during play, mouthguards might provide a choking hazard.

The risk of injury can be reduced for athletes by providing a suitable fit.

The usefulness of custom-made mouthguards over store-bought alternatives in preventing dental injuries, soft tissue injuries, and concussions is highlighted by study findings, underlining the significance of good fit for improved protection in rugby players.

mouthguards in the GAA

Moulded Fitted Mouthguards

Customising mouthguards to a person’s needs is one of the benefits of having them properly fitted.

There are many different types of mouthguard too. 

Custom-fitted mouthguards are made for each person’s mouth, taking into account things like teeth alignment, jaw structure, and bite pattern.

They are normally purchased from a dental practitioner.

Players are free to concentrate entirely on their game thanks to the greatest comfort and protection provided by this tailored fit.

Players can speak easier with these in, and the breathability is much better.

However, these are generally more expensive than a self-moulded mouthguard.

 

Don’t forget though, kids’ fittings may change overtime as they experience growth.

So regularly checking the fit of the mouthguard every few months is recommended.

Conclusion

To wrap up, mouthguards are now a huge part of the GAA.

If you don’t wear them, you face the risk of serious injury and being sent off in the match.

The benefits are huge and the evidence is all there to back it up.

We hope you enjoyed this blog and make sure to check out our selection of mouthguards below.


The Benefits of Sports for Kids

Sports, fun and summertime go hand-in-hand at Intersport Elverys and the benefits of all these for kids are humongous.

As well as sports being fun for your kids, it can also keep them active, allow them make new friends and learn important life skills.

But did you know that sports can also improve their physical and emotional health?

In this blog, we’ll look at some of the advantages of sports for children, such as how it can help them stay fit, healthy, and happy.

benefits of sports for kids like running is huge

Physical Health Benefits of Sports for Kids

Regular physical activity is essential for kid’s health and development, and sports are an excellent method for them to obtain the exercise they require.

The following are some of the physical health benefits of sports for children:

Better Cardiovascular Health

Sporting activities can help children’s cardiovascular health by strengthening their heart and lungs.

This can help individuals increase their endurance, lower their risk of heart disease, and enhance their general fitness.

Improve coordination and motor skills

Sports require children to use multiple muscle groups while also developing coordination and motor skills.

This can assist children enhance their general physical ability, balance, and agility.

Reduce the risk of obesity

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), they estimated that over 38 million kids under the age of 5 were overweight or obese.

Regular exercise and sports is a brilliant method of your kids maintaining healthy weight and reducing the risk of becoming obese.

Obesity leads to a range of health problems, like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

benefits of sports for kids such as swimming can greatly reduce the risk of obesity

Maintain stronger bones and muscles

Weight-bearing sports such as running and leaping can help children develop stronger bones and muscles.

This can lower the chance of injury while also improving overall physical performance.

Yoga can be a fantastic option, so why not check out our Best Yoga Poses for Kids Guide with the O’Neill family?

Sports provide kids with a variety of physical health benefits that can help them live happier, healthier lives.

Mental Health Benefits of Sports for Kids

Along with the physical, sports for kids can have huge benefits on their mental health too.

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that participation in team sports can help improve kids self-esteem and positively impact both their mental health and social skills.

Here are some of the benefits:

Reduced stress and anxiety

Physical activity, such as sports, can help youngsters cope with stress and anxiety.

Endorphins are released during exercise, which can improve mood and reduce tension and anxiety.

Improve confidence

Participating in sports can help youngsters develop a sense of accomplishment while also improving their self-esteem and confidence.

benefits of sports for kids like basketball is a great way of having fun and staying active

This might boost their confidence in their abilities both on and off the field.

Better sleep

Regular activity, especially sports involvement, can help children sleep better.

This is significant since sleep is essential for both physical and mental wellbeing.

Better Attention span

Sports can help youngsters increase their focus and attention span, which can help them perform better in school.

Sporting activities provide children with a variety of mental health benefits that can improve their general well-being and happiness.

Football is always a great option, this Guide to Football Training Equipment might come in useful to get started.

Social Benefits of Sports for kids

Sports can be a really effective and simple way of helping your kids develop all important life skills, such as social confidence, teamwork, communication and leadership.

It might also be one of the first times they get exposed to all these at once too.

Here we look into them a bit more.

Teamwork and leadership skills

Sporting activities need youngsters to operate as a team and learn how to lead and follow.

This can assist kids in developing key social skills and attributes of leadership that will serve them well in the future.

Studies have found that community sport participation helps improving kids shyness and significantly increasing anxiety over time.

Making friends

Sports can be an excellent method for youngsters to meet new people and develop new friends.

This can assist children in developing a sense of belonging and social skills, as well as having much more fun.

Learning to win and lose

Both are equally as important as the other.

Learning to handle triumph and failure with grace and sportsmanship: Sports can teach youngsters how to handle win and defeat with grace and sportsmanship.

This can aid in the development of crucial life skills and values, especially once they know that it is not all about winning.

Academic Benefits of Sports

As well as doing great in sports, it’s important that your kids academic side improves too.

And sports are a brilliant method of doing just that.

But don’t just take our word for it. We’ve pulled out of some great research to back up why sports and ‘the books’ go hand in hand.

benefits of sports for kids is a huge help in the classroom for them academically

  1. Research published in the Journal of School Health discovered that middle school pupils who participated in sports performed better academically than those who did not.
  2. In the USA, Student-athletes have higher grade point averages (GPAs) and lower dropout rates than non-athletes, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
  3. According to a review of data published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, physical activity, especially sports involvement, can improve cognitive function and academic achievement in children and adolescents.

Conclusion

We hope at this stage you are beginning to see how beneficial sports can be for your little bundles of joy.

If your thinking of sending your kids to camp this year, this Essential Guide to Summer Camps blog is a must read.

Otherwise, we hope we’ve laid out all the benefits to you and this might encourage you to get your kids involved in sports.

Intersport Elverys are experts in sport and have an incredible of kids categories and items to help you along. Check it out below.


How Long is a GAA Match? A Guide to Gaelic Games Duration

If you’re new to Gaelic football or hurling and want to know how long is a GAA match, then look no further.

To the untrained, the GAA can look like pure chaos with no rules at all!

But we assure you that there is indeed rules – quite a lot of them actually – and knowing how long a GAA match is should be one of the first things you know.

GAA matches, in short, last 60 minutes at club level and 70 minutes for inter-county games.

But that’s only scratching the surface.

This blog post will examine the normal length of several Gaelic games as well as the variables that may affect the length of a match.

Let’s go.

how long is a gaa match

How long is a GAA Match

Ok, so at this stage we presume you know what the GAA is right? Well if you don’t, check out our bog on What does the GAA stand for.

But back to this, and in short, the duration of a GAA hurling or football match is generally 60 minutes long.

That is for most adult club games, as well as minor, under-20 and underage games. It is divided into two halves of 30 minutes each.

However, senior inter-county football games last for 70 minutes long with two halves of 35 minutes each.

You then have to factor in additional time, which is time added on to the end of each half that takes into account time that may have been lost on the field due to injuries, substitutions or just some old-fashioned time-wasting!

If the two teams are level at the end of the 60 or 70 minutes, then the option of playing two 10 minute halves of extra time  can be played, followed by a penalty shootout.

Or if it’s an All-Ireland Final, then a replay will be played after full time.

Teams also get 10 minutes for a half time break.

Want to know more about GAA? Here is the  length of a GAA pitch – and it’s quite big!

How long is a GAA Match: Football v Hurling

Both Gaelic football and hurling are scheduled to last 60 minutes and 70 minutes respectively, as stated above.

However, in recent times the GAA has seen inter-county games last well over 80 minutes when added time is taken into account.

That is due to new rules like the black card, teams making tactical substitutions to run down the clock and of course injuries, due to the added physicality and pace of the game.

Back in the 1970s, the GAA trialled playing 80 minute games before settling on the current format.

Time keeping is becoming more of an issue in recent years and it has been suggested that the GAA bring in a time clock, like you see in basketball, to try and counteract it.

However, nothing has been done just yet.

Conclusion

So, now you know how long is a GAA match.

If you’re interested in learning more, why not check out our Ultimate Guide to Gaelic Football Positions?

Or maybe you’ll be interested in the history of hurling?

We love our GAA at Intersport Elverys, and if you’re looking for some of the top gear, check out our county by county range on our website below.

how long is a gaa match

 


Free Kick Coaching with Dublin’s Dean Rock 2024

DUBLIN GAA’s Dean Rock is one of the greatest free kick takers Gaelic football or the GAA has ever seen.

The Ballymun star has held his nerve in the biggest moments and on the biggest stage for Dublin GAA – who can forget his late free in the 2017 All-Ireland Final against Mayo?

Not to mention that in 2019, he kicked a total of 32 out of 36 frees to help Dublin complete the historic five-in-a-row.

In this blog, we’re delighted to have Rock himself share his free kick secrets and tips with us, covering kicking off the ground, out of his hands, mental cues and more.

The tutorial was done as part of our Leader Kicking series in association with Puma and Tadgh Leader, and also features Dublin LGFA’s Kate O’Sullivan.

If you want to improve your free taking, you don’t want to miss this.

Before you scroll, are you curious to see if Dean Rock made our Ultimate XV from the Past Two Decades?

Read on for more.

Dean Rock on… Kicking the ball out of your hands?

“It’s a feel thing for me.

“If I was playing with the wind, I’d usually always kick them out of my hands, because I feel once I get my shoulder position right, direction with which my feet need to go and commitment to the strike, the wind will do the majority of the work for me.

dean rock

“If I’m kicking into the wind, there is far more that can go wrong, so I find it more comfortable to put it on the deck.

“I find it’s hard to get the elevation when you’re kicking off the ground with the wind behind you too. So it’s that bit easier to kick under and up through the wind.”

Dean Rock on… Getting his routine right

“Once a free is awarded I am getting ready mentally and physically for the kick.

“I might not be the person fouled, so I always take my time getting across to take it, allowing me to take a few breaths and get my heart rate down because that will help me think more clearly about the process.

“Once I get over the ball I am making my mind up whether to go out of my hands or off the ground. So in this instance, we’re about 30 yards, the wind is kind of in my favour, so I would have decided by now to go out of the hands.

“I then want to find the general direction in which the wind is blowing. Here, it’s going from right to left, so that will dictate my starting position.

“A big cue for me is always having my left shoulder facing towards the target, so I want it facing the right post.

“The other shoulder I am going to try my best to hide as long as possible in the run up so I don’t open up. If I open my chest in anyway, the likelihood is that I’m going to curl it to the left and miss.

“So my number one focus is left or near shoulder to the target before moving in a direction that doesn’t allow my right shoulder to rotate inwards and drag it to the left.

“After that, it’s trying to keep the head down and having a full commitment to the strike – don’t quite on the kick.”

Dean Rock on… mental cues when kicking

“Before I kick, I always use the word ‘commit’ – just as I’m approaching the kick, it’s ‘commit’.

“So not thinking of any outcome, just the process and the commitment.

dean rock

“I much rather miss at the far post than the near post. Because when I miss at the far post I know I just need to change the angle at which I’m running so it should just go over on the inside of the post.

“In terms of the target, I always practice kicking between the far post and the black spot, narrowing the target. So in a game, you then have a bigger target and that helps when the pressure is on.”

Kicking off the Ground

“When kicking off the ground I always try and hit the valve. It’s not done with any science behind it, more just a habit in terms of what helps me point the ball towards the target.

“I try and strike the ball off the toe a bit more than usual as it helps get elevation.

“I step back directly from the target first and in terms of stepping left, it’s whatever I feel comfortable with really and depend on where I am on the pitch.

“If I’m shooting from the right side of the pitch, I’m not going to take as many steps to the left as if I was kicking from the left side for example.”

dean rock

Kicking off the ground Routine

“There’s a bit more control when you’re kicking off the ground because you know the ball isn’t moving and all you need to do is focus on your alignment.

“When I’m kicking off the ground it’s all about getting my head and chest over the ball and get that full commitment because a bad miss for me are where I’ve quit on it, come up too soon and dragged it left.

“I used to count for 1 or 2 seconds after the kick to keep my head down and avoid looking up and worrying about the outcome – process is more important.

“My planted leg is also important in terms of trying to get that as close to the side of the ball as possible.

“I would say it is very close to the ball and where I’m trying to hit it from.

“In the past when I was kicking, I’d often get the cameraman to come out with me and record videos to find bits of inconsistencies and sometimes it would be here in the positioning of my planted foot.

“So I’ve found that if I can get my foot planted in the general direction of being side by side with the ball, it will give me the best purchase or strike.”

Conclusion

Free kick tips and insight doesn’t come much better than from Dean Rock.

Make sure to check out the full video below to see Rock in action alongside Kate O’Sullivan and Tadgh Leader.

You can also check out our full range of GAA HERE.