In this week’s instalment of our performance partnership with FFS Gyms, Rory and Rudds speak with retired Leinster and Ireland rugby player and now VP of operations of Kitman Labs, Kevin McLaughlin.
McLaughlin made 115 appearances for Leinster and received eight caps for Ireland before a series of concussions forced him to retire in 2015.
The former back row then got involved in Kitman labs and on the podcast McLaughlin discuss the rationale behind it, to harvest data to help elite sports teams deal with injuries and rehabilitation and how it’s inception was borne at Leinster Rugby by Stevie Smith.
McLaughlin is also asked about his experience visiting other elite clubs from across a number of different sports, but he explains that the work that is done in Leinster, is the best he has ever seen.
“I haven’t seen anything better than Leinster on my travels,” explains McLaughlin.
“I’ve been to places like Man United, Tottenham, Everton, Man City, Man City’s complex is essentially like a city, they’ve got everything they need but what I liked about in Leinster was that we were never going to have the biggest budget in the world and we were never going to have the best players but we built an incredible academy system and a really strong culture around hard work.
“Leinster with their budget have to find excellence, they can’t afford to always go out and buy players so it’s a case of ‘let’s make the most of what we have in here.’
“I thought when I walked into some of these Premier League teams my mind would be blown with the standards of everything but I’ve honestly been very pleasantly surprised that the environment at Leinster was the best I’ve seen in terms of standards, culture and real work-hard ethic.”
During his playing career, McLaughlin had well-documented struggles with injury, which eventually led to him having to retire in 2015 in his early 30s.
On the podcast, McLaughlin outlined how the culture at Leinster helped him to deal with his injuries problems and focus on returning better than ever.
“I think one of the most important things about the culture at Leinster is that the injured players understand that it’s not all about them.
“They stepped aside, they did their rehab and they did everything they could to get back and support their teammates because at the end of the day having a positive hard working environment where everyone wants to come in to during the day is really important for the performance at the weekend.”
McLaughlin also discusses his passion for business, innovative new Kitman Labs ideas and building relationships with clients among other topics.
Check out the full episode of the For Fit Sake Podcast below.