Field Games are not Endurance Based Sports
Hurling, Gaelic Football, Soccer, Hockey and Rugby are not games of endurance. They may last from 60 to 90 minutes but they are still not games of endurance. They are skill ball games that require the ability of the player to keep repeating skill activities, speed sprints, stopping and starting and the execution of most of the sports skills at speed. For each player that amounts to between 2 to 5% of game time.
Many coaches make the mistake of preparing the team to last the 60 to 90 minutes, when in fact the game is played at a high tempo pace irregularly and consistently irregularly for each individual a few seconds at a time. Having the players quick and fast for those few seconds is the key to game fitness.
Most players in field games make between 50 and 80 sprints. It has been measured in soccer that the average distance sprinted at pace is 13.4 m. Hurling and Hockey would be very similar (10 – 20m) while Gaelic Football is probably in the region of 20 to 30 m and in Rugby it will depend on one’s position. But suggesting between 10 and 30m would not be far wrong.
Just think of the long distance some coaches use? No wonder why the men who designed the games so long ago would cry and turn in their graves!