Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Does it just suddenly happen?

Last Friday I received a very unexpected phone call from Ian Barraclough, the new Northern Ireland Senior Men’s manger.

I had worked with Ian before with the NI underage squads and thought he was giving me a call in relation to this.

When we got through all the general chat he asked me if I wanted to join the senior men’s coaching staff.


I wasn’t expecting it at all but it didn’t take me too long to say yes.

I had pulled over to take the call and my son was in the van with me.

He was buzzing after I told him and that brought me even more joy.

I was really taken aback by the offer because it came without any warning, it just happened.

When I did take the time to sit back and reflect on it I realised that this opportunity didn’t just suddenly happen with one phone call.

It all started with my first summer coaching role with Tyrone GAA at 16-years-old, my passion for coaching just grew from there.


Around eight years ago I joined the IFA as a primary school coach, then I took a role as strength and condition coach with Club NI, which coaches the best players in this country from the age of 13.


This included travelling to the likes of Crumlin two days a week and then the programme moved to three evenings a week in Cookstown including Sunday morning sessions.

From this I was offered a role with the NI U17’s and U19’s also filling in from time to time with the U21’s.

It all seems like a natural progression but one that I couldn’t have dreamed about when I first took the role on as a primary coach.

One thing which made my progression seamless was my passion for coaching. It doesn’t matter if it’s a four-year-old in P1 or an international footballer, I love coaching and all I want is to do is guide and inspire people to reach their full potential.

So the phone call on that Friday didn’t ‘just happen’ – it was a combination of passion, drive and self-belief.

A lot of people will think it was all down to hard work, yes it has its part to play but not everything is a result of it.

Take your own personal, business and health goals. Ask yourself what do you really want? What is your passion?

If you really want to look and feel awesome then you need the drive, passion and self-belief to go and get it.

People go around thinking they have to push themselves so hard, even forcing themselves to get something that deep down they don’t really want.

Maybe you just kind of want it. Maybe you just kind of want to lose weight but don’t have that self-belief that you can. Maybe you just kind of want to be fitter but don’t have that drive or passion to get up and go for a run.

If this sounds like you, then you don’t really want it and won’t get the results that you expect.

Ask yourself what you really want, add to that passion, drive and self-belief and then your ‘it just suddenly happened’ moment will come someday.

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