Innovative coaching work-shops ready for pilot testing
By John Harrington
An innovative approach to delivering practical coaching sessions in Gaelic games is almost ready for pilot testing.
Facilitated by the renowned Liam Moggan, commonly known in Irish sport as ‘The Coach’s coach’, a team of 20 of the brightest minds in Gaelic games put their heads together last month over the course of two weekends to develop a three-hour coaching work-shop that can be delivered for adult players.
The work-shop comprised coaches from all four provinces and all Gaelic games organisations, including former Waterford manager, Derek McGrath, LGFA coach developer Bronagh McGrane, former Westmeath manager Jack Cooney, and Camogie tutor and former Dublin Camogie player, Aine Fanning, to name but a few.
Also involved were two referees, Maggie Farrelly and Sean Stack, to ensure that the rules of the game were integrated into whatever the work-shop produced.
The brief was to produce a work-shop that would be very practical, about what happens on the pitch, and that would also be something you could do with as many players as possible.
“It went very well,” Liam Moggan told GAA.ie.
“We struggled initially, which was a part of the aim of the whole thing in creating something new. People were very willing to scratch their heads and work together and share not only thoughts, but difficulties about thoughts.
“The thing I liked about it is that it's quite easy to share ideas when we're galloping towards something very clear. Whereas we're attempting to create something new, so the gallop is a bit slower.
“But it's a great group, and you can see why coach education is in such a good place. There was great experience in the room. And, again, I would emphasise the inclusion of the referees was a real new dynamic to it.
“That certainly raised a new awareness for the coaches in the room. I always say that coaches are the first arbitrators of the rules so they need to be very specific on the rules. A book of rules was one of the resources we gave to people.
“A lot of progress has been made and we're ready to deliver it in draft form next week.”
After the draft form has been produced the next step will be the pilot testing phase where coaches will deliver the three-hour coaching work-shop in a live setting on a pitch.
Lessons are likely to be gleaned from that process, and the plan is to have the finalised format of the work-shop ready to go in early 2023.
So, what can coaches who would like to take part in these work-shops expect from them?
“The whole thing is designed for coaches who are working with adult players,” says Moggan.
“It's about the different phases of the game, it isn't about drills being done.
“It'll refer to a stage of play. We'll have six to eight of them ready to be rolled out in good time in 2023. Stages of play from creating scoring opportunities to the use of plus one in defence. It’ll be real and practical for coaches today.
“Those taking part won't actually be watching coaches, they'll be coaching themselves and they'll be getting feedback on their coaching.
“The coaching survey produced by the GAA earlier this year found that 51 per cent of coaches gave a lack of time as a reason for not pursuing their coach education.
“This idea of practical three-hour modules is very much taking that on board. It'll be something where there's a clear start, middle, and end. So 10 o'clock to one o'clock on a Saturday or seven o’clock to ten o’clock on a week day and you're done and dusted."
Core Modules Development Working Group
Group Facilitator: Liam Moggan
Group Participants: Aine Fanning, Colm Nally, Damien Coleman, Derek Mc Grath, Emma Byrne, Eugene Young, Ger O Connor, Jack Cooney, Kevin Kelly, Maggie Farrelly, Niall Corcoran, Niall Williams, Noel Hartigan, Noel O Sullivan, Paudie O Neill, Philip Kerr, Roger Keenan, Sean Stack, Teresa Molohan, Thomas Broderick.
For more information on the Gaelic Games Player Pathway, go here - https://learning.gaa.ie/playerpathway