Preparation for Buggy big part
Report by Padhraic Roberts
Interview with 60 x 30 County Senior finalist Gavin Buggy from the St Joseph’s club, Wexford Town, ahead of his Senior Open Doubles All Ireland quarter final this coming Saturday at Talbots Inch, Kilkenny at 3pm. Gavin is partnered by Tommy Hynes of the St Mary’s club and they take on Dublin’s Eoin Kennedy and Carl Browne.
Q : Gavin can you tell us about your match preparation ahead of such a important fixture?
A: Well we got a practice match in 3 days before the game and I intend on staying away from handball until Saturday so as I will be fresh and have desire on Saturday. A big part of the game now is influenced by sports science so ill be drinking lots of water to keep hydrated and watching what I eat. I’ll be well rested up until Saturday to allow the batteries time to recharge. To be honest I won’t do anything out of the ordinary.
Q: What advise would you give up and coming handballers on how to prepare for a big game?
A: Train hard all season round. Have the hard work done in the months leading up to championships, this is good preparation. Coming up to important games stay fresh and have a good sleeping pattern. Its very important to keep loose the day of a big match, I’ll probably have a light jog on Saturday morning and then get in some good stretching. In relation to County Finals it always helps if you can familiarise yourself with the alley the final is in so that you feel comfortable when the game begins.
Q: Have you any strange superstitions ahead of handball games?
A: Not really no, I always get my gear ready the night before a game, its good preparation.
Q: As a youngster what handballer player did you most admire ?
A: Ducksy Walsh. As a child I always remember vividly the night at Croke Park in 1985 when Ducksy won his first Senior title.
Q: Has the 60 x 30 game of handball changed since you began playing? (all them years ago !!!!)
A: For me handball has very much advanced. The ball we currently play with is much lighter and harder to kill. I feel sports science has had a contributing factor on the development of the game. Handball like many other sports is always evolving with further preparation now required before big games. I feel as a player I have to adapt to the game around me more so now as the standard seems to be continuously improving.
Q: For you as a player in the alley which stroke do you find you have to work hardest at in practice?
A: Personally I work hardest on my technique for serving. Also I concentrate on my positional sense and my footwork. But as in all sports once you identify a weakness in your game you must focus on the development of that area primarily.
Q: In relation to your doubles partner Tommy, what do you feel is his greatest asset in the alley?
A:Tommy has so much natural talent. Ronnie O’Sullivan, Phil Taylor, Colm Cooper, Robbie McCarty all natural athletes and I feel Tommy too is a natural athlete. Also his power shots, in my opinion he is hitting the ball as hard now as he did in his 20’s. For me he is a natural 60 x 30 player.
Q: If you could model yourself on an athlete for any other sport (past or present) who would it be?
A: Ducksy Walsh without a doubt. His speed and the longevity he has given the game at such a high stand is phenomenal to say the least.
Q: What was the most inspirational feat you have ever witnessed first hand in sport ?
A: The World Championship Final in City West in 2012 when Paul Brady (Cavan) won 4 World titles in a row by defeating Louis Moreno (USA). For a lot of the match Brady was completely outplayed but he dug deep and got over the line against a quality opponent.
Q: Gavin what superhero best describes you and why ?
A: Now that’s a hard question, I was never one for watching many cartoons as a kid as I was always playing sports. I suppose Spiderman as I feel im a sticky opponent in the alley and I hang in there and sometime grind out a result.