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Kilmacud Crokes Games Promotion Officer, Niall Corcoran. 
Kilmacud Crokes Games Promotion Officer, Niall Corcoran. 

Niall Corcoran's tips for coaching during the lockdown

By John Harrington

The second in a series of coach development webinar sessions run by the GAA takes place this evening at 7.30pm.

Former Dublin hurler, Niall Corcoran, who is a Games Promotion Officer with Kilmacud Crokes in Dublin, will give a presentation on ‘Putting Together a Sustainable Coaching Programme’.

“It'll be about the factors that you should consider when putting together your club coaching programme,” Corocoran told GAA.ie

“Maybe the areas that you might want to develop within that programme. And then, very simply, what can coaches do in the short-term to sustain their current coaching programme.

“That's it in a nutshell. I'll be looking at things like a player-pathway for a club that's looking to build a coaching programme, develop their schools, develop their youth and adult. How you might develop a coach education programme within the club.

“Then, in the short term, ideas that you can use such as zoom training sessions or online coaching meetings. Using technology to assist in your coaching such as tactical pad and huddle technique that coaches can use in the short-term to keep engaging with fellow coaches and keep engaging with their players.”

Niall Corcoran is part of Laois hurling manager Eddie Brennan's backroom team. 
Niall Corcoran is part of Laois hurling manager Eddie Brennan's backroom team. 

There might be no collective training sessions at the moment, but Games Promotion Officers like Corcoran have kept themselves very busy upskilling themselves and devising programmes for their club players and coaches that can be done at a time of national lockdown.

“In fairness to Dublin GAA they've been very proactive,” says Corcoran. “Our regional development officers have been in touch with us and we're having weekly online chats and we're all working on different programmes such as skill development and athlete development and player pathways. Some of the full-time coaches are collaborating in those areas.

“From a Kilmacud Crokes point of view, we've sent out lots and lots of skills challenges. We are in contact through Zoom chats. I ran an U-10 hurling session through Zoom last Sunday morning.

“Again, it's a different way of connecting the coaches with the players. Most of the work from here in will be engaging with coaches and helping them engage with their players.

“So maybe putting training sessions together that they can carry out through an online chat or video forum. Or pulling together some player-profile sheets that coaches can use to engage with players.

“I'm constantly looking for ways to look outside the box, and I've never been as busy in terms of coaches contacting me looking for different ideas or information that they can use to engage with kids at home and also with the coaches in their club.

"Next week I'll have an online video call with all the juvenile coaches in Kilmacud. I'll have another online video call with the U-13 to U-18 coaches.

"In between that I'll be putting together some online sessions that coaches can carry out with their players through whatever means of communication they're using."

Further information on the GAA’s programme of coaching webinars can be found here: https://learning.gaa.ie/gaacoachwebinar2020

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