Erin's Isle GAA Club

Farnham Drive Finglas
Dublin 11

Tel: + 353 1 8342556


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Monday, 11 December 2017 09:08
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Coaches Corner

This Category is intended for mentors/coaches to use as a tool they can use to assist in their task of coaching our teams

By: Michael Mc Geehin


Gaelic Games are simple in design but require an extensive array of movement and decision making skills. The design of a Gaelic Games Training Program preliminary focuses on five interdependent areas of development:

• Technical skills
• Tactical skills
• Physical skills
• Mental skills
• Lifestyle skills

For coaching at any level, introduction through to elite, one of the key challenges for the coach is to provide a learning environment for the player that will facilitate the development of these skills particularly with regard to the development of movement and decision making skills, with and without the ball, in a games context.

A typical coaching session will consist of:

• Warm up
• Skills practice through drills
• Full game

In this typical session for the development of technical skills, the drill or practice occurs outside of the real game context and usually without defenders. This isolated practice has its place in the initial stages of learning any technique but it is important that the players move quickly into more realistic practical scenarios. These scenarios should simulate the demands of the game while retaining the crucial element of play.

In designing your session remember SPACE = TIME = SKILL. Alternating the size of the playing area can shape play into specific areas of player and team development. Beginner’s need plenty of space to play effectively, more experienced players need to perform in limited space.

With this in mind the typical session for performance, incorporating movement and decision making skills development, would consist of

• Warm up
• Individual practice
• Basic skill drills
• Small sided games
• Full sided game


Examples of small sided games:

Win by One

 gaa coaching drill

- 5V5 with goal keepers
- Play for 12 mins – normal rules
- Goals only
- Winning team can only win by one goal
- First team to score retains possession for duration of 12 mins or until opposition
- When an equaliser is scored both teams can attempt to score again to win by one for
the remainder of the 12 minutes
- Variation points only

TouchDown (5V5 V5)


gaa coaching drill


- 3 teams of 5 – two teams defending, one in each grid. One team attacking for the 
central area
- Attacking team has five attacking attempts in each grid, ten attacks in total
- Attacking team attempts to touchdown on endline of grid they are attacking for a
score. Defending team attempts to delay, deny and dispossess. If defenders
succeed the attack is over. 
- Next attack in opposite grid starts in central area


 Space Tennis


gaa coaching drill


 - 2 teams divided between two grids 
- -5 red defenders marking 4 blue forwards in one grid. In opposite grid 5 blue defenders marking 4 red forwards
- Blue team in both grids play as one team as do the red team
- Area in the middle is a no go area or the ‘net’ in Tennis
- If blue defenders are in possession to score they must play the ball over the ‘net’ to a blue forward who then has to work the ball to a blue defender to get a score
- Coach is the umpire and has the final say on scores and possession
- First to 5 or 10 wins
- Variation – 5 forwards on 4 defenders – one in each grid
- 2v2 in each grid for 4-5 minutes 


About the Author - Michael Mc Geehin


Michael McGeehin is the Director of Coaching Ireland and is widely regarded as one of the very best field coaches in Gaelic Games. Michael is a P.E. Graduate from the University of Limerick and had a successful career in the army retiring at the rank of commandant.

Michael is also a master tutor with the Ulster Council G.A.A. He is also a vastly experienced coach having coached a number of Inter County Teams including Mayo, Fermanagh, Roscommon, Laois and Clare. Michael also coached Finn Harps F.C.


Taken from  Total GAA Coach website


 Welcome to our new section on this website "Coaches Corner"

I have discussed this with quite a few mentor's and also our GPO Paul Lyons and I am happy to say the response has been positive.
To begin with I have picked just a nibble of the vast number of examples for coaching idea's that are available on the web.
I am sure many of you have more examples and other site's that could be used and that is the whole idea around this section.
It allow's us to display coaching drills, tips and suggestions for coaches to use in our training schedules as we go along.
If you register on this site (which is FREE) you can login and comment on the articles that are posted, such as if they are good or can be enhanced or adapted to suit various age groups etc.
The login just ensure's we control the content of any comments as I am sure you will agree we need to show best practice by having some form of control.
If there are articles or drill's you have used and would recommend then email the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and ensure you state for the coaches Corner in your subject line.
If we have a few differnt comments suggesting variation's to the drill then we can edit the article to include these so they become part of the article going forward.
This is just the start of what I feel will be starting point for new mentor's in Erins Isle and a tool for established mentor's to review for new ideas or to give suggestions for developing / adapting the drills to suit different circumstances.
It was suggested to me by one of our mentor's that it would good if our GPO Paul Lyons could post a blog in this section based on recent requests he has had for mentor's
I have discussed this briefly with Paul and he seems positive that something can be put together on this.  So we will keep you posted on any developments regarding this.
Paul has however agreed that any workshops he holds in the club will be posted and if possible a video of the workshop can be made and posted on the site also.
So here's to the start of what I believe will be good tool for coaches into the future.