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Wexford GAA's Willie Cleary is a highly regarded coach.
Wexford GAA's Willie Cleary is a highly regarded coach.

Leinster GAA's webinar initiative attracting interest

By Cian O'Connell

Coach education continues to occupy a central role for Leinster GAA, who this week rolled out another initiative.

An online webinar series for learning and development will take place over the coming weeks.

On Thursday Leinster GAA announced that Willie Cleary, Michael Dempsey, John Doyle, and Emmett Egan will all deliver four workshops and the interest has been immediate. 'Creating The Hurling Habit' is the first talk which will be presented by Cleary on September 16.

"We launched it yesterday (Thursday) just after 11 o'clock through the social media channels and on the website," Leinser GAA's Learning and Development Manager Colm Clear explains.

"By 8.30am this morning there was 50 people registered. We weren't expecting the demanding to be that strong, that quick, but the registrations have filled up very quickly which is great. It shows it is something people want.

"The facility is there now because of learning.gaa.ie and with David Sweeney there the capacity is on the system with the tool we are using for it."

Clear acknowledges that a recent series of workshops held with coaches from Australia and New Zealand were well received.

"We tried it with Australia and New Zealand there, a couple of webinars," Clear adds. "We realised if we can do it there we should put it as an offering to our coaches within Leinster, in particular. If anyone else wants to join in they are more than welcome too.

"Basically we met with Gerard Roe (Australasian GAA Secretary) at the Convention last year. We just talked about different ways we could help because we are a twinning partner with them."

That enabled Leinster GAA staff to design workshops to assist those in Australia and New Zealand.

"We just looked at different ways we could help and support them with the TURAS programme," Clear states.

Johnny Doyle will deliver one of the webinars in the coming weeks.
Johnny Doyle will deliver one of the webinars in the coming weeks.

"We said we could offer an online webinar where we could get someone to present and talk through the programme, the different resources and everything else that is available.

"Basically because of the geographical structure in Australia and New Zealand we hosted the same webinar three times over three different Mondays. We attracted quite a large amount. In each of those you had maybe 15-20 coaches, who are just club coaches over in Australia and New Zealand.

"From a time perspective it suited them very well just to be able to log in. It was about an hour in duration, we tried to make it some way interactive, but at the end of the day it is about getting information out in a different format, a different structure."

This new way of providing coaching advice will be used into the future, but Clear also stresses the need for traditional methods.

"The balance is the key," Clear remarks. "There is still a very, very important place for face to face sessions and formal coach education courses. Reality shows and research would show that for people to engage with learning opportunities in multiple environments in different ways and formats is the best way to continue learning.

"A philosophy I always would have is to have small regular often engagements with individuals is probably the best form of learning rather than chunk learning."

Still Clear is encouraged that the Leinster GAA coaching staff continue to be eager to assist.

"We are all actively involved within our clubs - all the coaches, all the full-time staff we have," Clear comments.

"In our staff there is huge experience and expertise there. We have to find different ways of sharing that rather than it just being one individual in a county with a small audience.

"The more we can expand the knowledge that our staff have, the better and the more we can share. Things will be stronger and better.

"We have to try to think that our coaches are busy well, they are volunteering, they are working so we have to be innovative in different ways to engage with them at times that suit them to give opportunities that suit them best."

Further information can be obtained here.

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