GAA players spend up to 31 hours a week on inter-county commitments – that’s according to a new study from the ESRI.
The study was commissioned by the GAA and GPA and focused on 2016 players.
The research revealed that the vast majority of 2016 players were glad that they made the choice to play senior inter-county.
The benefits they identified from playing included the opportunities to build leadership skills, self-confidence and professional connections.
However, the report documented areas where players could benefit from additional support.
Players, particularly those aged over 30, compromised on their personal relationships and general downtime in order to ring-fence time for their inter-county commitments.
Players aged 18 to 21 had particularly high levels of time commitment because the majority played with four or more teams.
Players compromised on sleep, with almost half not getting the eight to ten hours recommended for athletes on a pitch-based training day..
Almost two-thirds of players indicated that their club was understanding when inter-county commitments restricted them in training/playing for their club. Nevertheless, arrangements between club and county management teams relating to player welfare appear somewhat ad-hoc.