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GAA Education Officer Peter Horgan.
GAA Education Officer Peter Horgan.

Tuesday's coaching webinar to provide valuable advice

By Cian O’Connell

As a long awaited return to training action edges ever closer, the webinar series provided by the GAA since March provided a welcome distraction during a demanding lockdown period.

Tuesday evening’s event featuring Dublin GAA Football Development Officer Stephen O’Shaughnessy and Coach Education Co-ordinator for the Camogie Association Niall Williams will be topical for those tasked with preparing teams.

“There was a huge appetite for learning opportunities over the last number of weeks,” GAA Education Officer Peter Horgan admits.

“We've had a huge uptake on each of the sessions we've had. What we tried to do initially was to focus on matters that were important to coaches that they could do during the Covid lockdown. Maybe not focus too much about on pitch things because at that time there wasn't any light at the end of the tunnel as regards getting back on pitch.

“I think over the last three or four weeks as we've got a broader understanding about how things might turn out over the summer we've tried to change focus looking at some return to play things.

“So a number of our speakers would have spoken about preparation about return to play, consideration around injuries and injury prevention, fitness, and psychological matters. What we are going to try to do in this session is focus on what the coach can do on pitch over the next number of weeks.”

The Microsoft Teams webinar platform has provided the backdrop for some interesting dialogue with Horgan adamant that the GAA will strive to supply valuable content in the future also.

“One of the things we are looking at is continuing with the webinar series, but not live,” Horgan says. “There seems to be an appetite for people to dip in and out of these things in their own time. So it would mean they aren't tied to attend a particular session, like the last number of weeks.

Stephen O'Shaughnessy, Dublin GAA Football Development Officer.
Stephen O'Shaughnessy, Dublin GAA Football Development Officer.

“As pitches open up there will be so much activity happening on pitch that I don't think anybody could guarantee they could attend a session on a Tuesday or Thursday at 7.30 anymore.

“What we are looking at doing is continuing with a series of webinars over maybe six or eight weeks, one per week releasing it out through the GAA Learning YouTube channel, to try to see if there is an appetite over the next number of weeks, to keep the flow of information coming and the interaction going with coaches.”

A real thirst to acquire new knowledge exists amongst the GAA coaching community according to Horgan.

“We've had huge numbers of people taking various courses over the last number of years,” Horgan replies.

“There has been a massive explosion at county, provincial, and national level. We have a healthy set of resources and huge engagement with those resources.

“I think there is a huge appetite for coaching specifically. We have just closed the GAA coach survey today.

“We've had more than 11,500 respondents to that, just from a very brief look at some of the data there so far, a huge number of people have been engaging in coach education courses.

“A huge number of people have an expectation and appetite that they will be engaging in the next 12 months and couple of years.”

To register for Tuesday's webinar click here.

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