Registration open for 'Be Ready to Play' coaching programme

By John Harrington

The ‘Be Ready to Play’ Coaching and Sports Science Programme in association with UPMC is now open for registration at this link -

The programme is a holistic coaching and performance plan that will be of great benefit to all club coaches and players, male, female, adult, and youth alike and which will be delivered via webinars, website programmes, instructional videos and live online sessions.

It will help them return to training post Covid in a way that will hopefully increase enjoyment, performance, and participation, while simultaneously reducing the risk of injury.

The programme will initially be tailored to help people be active in lockdown, then progress towards a development phase and a prepare to play phase before culminating in a prepare to perform phase which will help players be at their peak for important matches.

What makes the ‘Be Ready to Play’ programme such a great opportunity for those who participate, is that they will benefit from the advice and direction of some of the most renowned leaders in the field of coaching and performance.

These include Des Ryan, Shayne Murphy, Annie McCarra, Michael Dempsey, Cathal Cregg, Aoife Lane, Niall Moyna, Bryan Cullen, Dr. Liam Hennessy, Sharon Madigan, Phil Kearny, Denis Martin, Kate Kirby, Shayne Murphy, Aidan O’Connell, Cairbre Ó Cairealláin, Martin McCarthy, David Kelly, and Louise Keane.

Areas covered will include games-based coaching, athletic development, psychology and wellbeing, nutrition, performance analysis, skill acquisition and biomechanics, physiotherapy, and injury prevention.

This multi-disciplinary programme will be delivered by

· Fortnightly Athletic Development Programmes. (Instructional Video & Live Sessions).

· Monthly Coach education webinars (Gaelic Games Coaching Experts & Guests).

· Monthly Sport Science support webinars (Every Sports Science Discipline covered).

'Be Ready to Play' is a season-long Gaelic Games Coaching and Sports Science programme suited to players of all ages and levels. 
'Be Ready to Play' is a season-long Gaelic Games Coaching and Sports Science programme suited to players of all ages and levels. 

See below for information on the 'Be Ready to Play webinars that will take place in March.

March 16 at 7pm: Preparing to train and play. How to decrease your injury risk?

Speaker Helen McElroy

Helen McElroy is a Chartered Physiotherapist who has specialised in Sports and exercise medicine. She completed her Undergraduate Degree at Ulster University, An MSc in sports Physiotherapy from UCD and then completed her PhD in Hip and groin pain in Gaelic football in Ulster University in 2018. She represents Northern Ireland in the UK physios in sport committee and is on their education working group as well as the GAA sports science working group for physiotherapy and rehab.

Over the last 12 years she has worked with all codes of inter county GAA at senior level and is currently lead physio with Tyrone GAA academy. She balances this role with her full time clinical role as clinic director of Focus Physiotherapy and Sports Performance and being mum of 2 young girls.

March 30 at 7pm: Technical Coaching for Hurling, Camogie and Football

Fiona McHale

Fiona McHale is a qualified PE and Biology teacher and worked from 2011-2016 in Limerick College of Further Education teaching QQI level 5 and 6 coaching, health and fitness modules on the sport and recreation courses. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Limerick in the area of physical activity and health for adolescents through school-based research on the Active School Flag post-primary programme. Fiona has been coaching for the past 13 years at various age groups and levels including underage girls, senior men, senior women and intervarsity women’s Gaelic football teams. Fiona is an LGFA Gaelic 4 Teens ambassador and tutor on the Gaelic 4 Teens programme. Fiona is starting into her 16th season playing with Mayo and was an All-Star in 2016. Other involvements include sitting on the Sport Ireland Women in Sport Coaching group and vice-chair of the GPA/WGPA Next Gen Leaders programme.

John Doyle

John Doyle is a Leinster GDA and Director of Developmental football with the Kildare GAA Development squad programme. John is currently playing with his club Allenwood and had a distinguished career playing for Kildare over a 15-year span which included winning an All Star in 2010.

Niall Corcoran

Niall Corcoran started working as a Gaelic Games Promotion Officer with Kilmacud Crokes in 2005. His role within the club is to support all coaches working at child, youth and adult level, through specifically planned courses and workshops, incorporating recognised principles of best practice in the field of coaching. Niall is a former Dublin hurler and won a Leinster hurling title in 2013. Niall coached the Laois senior hurlers from 2018 -2020 and is currently part of the Wexford senior hurling coaching setup.

Eileen Gleeson

Eileen is an experienced Coach Developer with the Camogie Association delivering Foundation, Award 1 and workshops for the Camogie Association on a national level. Eileen is the current Clare minor camogie coach having previously work as part of the Clare management team previously.