Jim McGuinness reveals details of Donegal winter training ahead of 2012 All-Ireland victory

Donegal would do uphill beach sprints directly after a tough winter training session.

Jim McGuinness has revealed some of the winter training that Donegal did prior to the 2012 season that resulted in their All-Ireland victory.

McGuinness was looking back on Donegal’s second-ever All-Ireland title and believes that they didn’t win it at Croke Park, but rather at Trá Mór Beach.

McGuinness on Donegal’s 2012 All-Ireland victory.

The former Donegal manager joined Ryan Tubridy on Friday’s Late Late show and gave an insight into how he managed to guide Donegal to victory.

“We won the All-Ireland in Dunfanaghy at Trá Mór beach,” McGuinness told Tubridy.

“We won it there in the winter months. We would train for maybe two hours, leave the pitch, head for the dunes which is maybe a 3km jog.

“The beach just opens up, it just expands, it’s absolutely beautiful.

“But, from the foot of the beach there’s about a 400m incline and at the end of a two-hour session, you could potentially end up doing six, eight, ten 400s.

“Sprint up and jog down.”

McGuinness on sacrifice.

The 48-year-old then went into detail about the sacrifice required to be successful at an elite level, with every player having to commit 100 per cent to a cause greater than themselves.

“I was just thinking about it coming up the road today,” McGuinness continued.

“Those fellas and what they did, what they sacrificed, they pushed everything down the line.

“Their social life, getting out into world, what they ate, they delayed everything in the hope that they could be successful for something bigger than themselves, something more meaningful.”

McGuinness on the why.

The 1992 All-Ireland winner also gave details about each player knowing their why and explained that without that, the hard work they did would have been meaningless.

“A big part of it is emotional attachment. Why are you doing something? To ask that question, ‘why are you here?’ That was one of the first questions we asked them,” McGuinness added.

“Why are you here? Are you here because you’re a really good footballer and ended up here?

“Are you here because this is the only thing in your life and you want to achieve the ultimate goal in your life?

“We were coming from a very low base. We hadn’t won anything in 19 years, so we were also doing it for the people of Donegal and we were trying to connect with that.

“Then you start to merge those types of things in a culture that’s honest and there’s a purity so even if you do fail, you’ve given it your absolute best.

“We said to them a thousand times, once you’ve given everything, there’s nothing else to give.”

McGuinness joined The Late Late Show as part of Pieta’s Darkness Into Light campaign. You can donate at darknessintolight.ie.

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