The need to continually adapt and evolve is one which Ciaran Kilkenny embraces both in life and in football.
The Dublin forward - already a four-time All-Ireland winner at the age of just 24 - is within touching distance of finishing a Masters in Education at DCU. That's on top of a degree in History and Irish which he already holds.
A career in teaching is ultimately where he's headed. For the moment, he's working with Three Ireland as an education accounts manager - a job he started this month.
Just like on the pitch, Kilkenny is never standing still. He's also doing a course in leadership with the GPA.
"There’s a lot of master workshops and then enabling the other GAA players that are doing the course to be the best that they can be, be the best leaders that they can be and have an impact on their communities," Sure ambassador Kilkenny told Balls at the GAA's National Games Development Centre.
For Kilkenny, it's all about personal development.
During April, he lined out for Castleknock as they won games against Clontarf and St. Brigid's in their group of the Dublin SFC. The win against Brigid's, their local rivals, was a special moment for the club which was only formed 20 years ago. "There’s been great friendly banter in the dressing room between myself and Paddy Andrews."
He also played a hurling championship game against Kilmacud Crokes. It was the first time he'd picked up a hurley in a year. After 15 minutes spent shaking off the rust, he grew into the match.
On the pitch for Dublin, he added another layer to his game during this season's National League. Having played the point guard role at centre forward for Dublin in recent years, this season he moved closer to goal, playing full forward.
"It’s brilliant to play in different positions and learn from those positions," said the Castleknock player.
Your body dynamic needs to be different. You need to be a little bit stronger, a little bit more powerful; you could be a kilo or two heavier than you normally would have been because in the half-forward line you’d be doing a lot of aerobic running whereas in the full-forward line you’re still doing a lot of running but there would be a lot more explosive stuff.
I just have to get the balance between having that endurance but also that explosiveness then as well. You’d find that your body composition would be different than it naturally would be.
Personally, myself, I would have said that I wouldn’t have to lose as much weight as I would normally have had to lose coming back from a pre-season because I potentially knew that I could be playing closer to goal. The thought process behind that is to be a little bit stronger and a little bit more adaptable which will allow me to play in the different positions.
Kilkenny says there wasn't a whole lot of discussion regarding the move. It was just decided that was where he could be most effective for Dublin at the time.
"If you’re playing in those positions, you’re just looking at different players and what they do.
"Then you get feedback from [Dublin] defenders as well, what you’re doing well. It’s good to have that conversation with players and communicate where they could improve and where I could improve. That’s a really open and honest relationship that you’re going to have with those players.
"I love playing any game and being in the heat of the battle but I love playing in different positions. You get a better understanding of the game and what you need to do in certain scenarios and certain positions.
"There’s just always something new, it’s a new challenge and I love new challenges.
"My mindset is to embrace challenges and put a positive spin on it."
Footballer Ciaran Kilkenny, has announced the most comprehensive ever season of GAA statistics with new technology, more stats and greater analysis than ever before. The partnership, which enters its third year, promises to empower GAA fans with a deeper understanding of the components of success by breaking down individual and team statistics through conversation, head to head analysis and easy to digest infographics that explore and expose the numbers behind the performances that set the Championship alight.
Picture credit: Sportsfile