On the 12th of April 2018, 16 transition year students participated in a GAA Coaching and Refereeing Course.
The course was delivered by Paudie Malone who is a Tipperary Regional Games Development Officer. The students learned many different aspects of coaching juvenile players and refereeing juvenile ‘Go Games’. They began their course with theory. In groups, the key elements of coaching different skills were discussed.
These included: Building Rapport, Observation, Providing Demonstrations, Feedback, Analysis and Explaining and Communicating. Secondly, they discussed how juvenile coaches should present themselves, such as being active, involved and interested. The importance of knowing a player’s name and making conversation at every training session were also discussed. As part of their practical, students learned about what should be included in a juvenile coaching session.
A recommend session should include 70% skill, mastery and fun games, 30% of drills and skill development, advice and demonstrations, fundamental skills and also a small sided match. It is also very important to add a fun element to training. The transition years also discussed the characteristics of a U8 player.
A key to solve a player getting easily distracted is to speak for a short period of time (30 seconds) to maintain attention. A key factor of juvenile coaching is how coaches gauge success. This can be achieved by player maintenance and observing how skills and confidence improve.
Finally, the students were advised on what coaches should take from a blitz. Suggestions included how they should choose a variable to focus on, take stats on it and then base their training on it. Also, it is recommended that players should get to play in every position on the pitch during training up to 14 years of age. Overall all the students who participated in the course agreed that the day was extremely interesting and beneficial.