Coaching Insights

This section contains great insights into effective coaching with some of Galway’s best. It includes established players and coaches as well as future leaders of Galway GAA. This section hopes to give coaches an insight into the experiences and knowledge of some of the major stakeholders within Galway GAA. This interview style process hopes to cover all aspects of coaching both on and off the field.

Sarah Dervan

Galway Senior Camogie Captain

Club: Mullagh

Position: Defender

Sarah Dervan (C)

How important has the club been to your development?
The club is a vital part of my development. Since I started playing camogie as a child the club taught me the fundamentals of the game, the importance of hard work, improvement and being a team player. Club is the one constant that is there no matter what. Club is always so special to every player because its family and friends you will soldier with for your entire career.

Club has always been so encouraging to me. They have been with me through the highs of my careers but most importantly kept me going during the lows. They are a constant driving force in me to continue giving it my all.

What have the best coaches you’ve played for instilled in you?
Coaches are such an important part of every players development because it’s so important to know how to get the best out of each player as all players are different. The best coaches I have experienced have consistently encouraged me, improved my game by critiquing it in a positive way and always spoke to me about what I did well first and then what I need to improve. Great coaches will have sessions planned out that have a purpose especially to the way they want to play.

What lifestyle choices have you made to get to where you are?
I always wanted to give myself the best chance to play at my best, so I just made sure I always fuel my body right, am hydrated and get a good night’s sleep. The main priority is to look after yourself the best way you can and that means being dedicated to recovery as well as training. People often ask “do you mind the sacrifices to play sport” but I never see then as sacrifices.

What would you like to have been better at, at a younger age?
I suppose a thing I wish I was better at a younger age was to improve my speed I think it is so important now especially at a younger age that they do strength and conditioning. I see now the benefits it brings to our own game at senior level and especially the younger ones that are in the gym with us. They are becoming faster and stronger and that’s all testament to our strength and conditioning coach and the experience he brings.

Any tips for underage club coaches?
To make training as enjoyable as possible for the kids, always speak to them in a positive manner, always tell the players what they did right first and then coach them on what they need to work, build the confidence of each player, look after the players and ensure they are always kind to each other. Always make sure the kids are using both sides in all the drills they do also that they are always moving to the ball and catching the ball as much as they can.

Caroline Murray

Galway Minor Camogie Manager (2020)

Liam Mellow Junior A Manager

Club: St. Thomas

Caroline Murray

What do you feel are the top traits of becoming a good coach?
If you think back to the best coaches that you had when you were young think about what traits made them the best coach for you. This is what I have done.

For me the following traits applied to the best coaches I had:

  • A good coach is approachable and has the ability to build a good rapport with their players.
  • A good coach is patient and listens to their players.
  • A good coach is enthusiastic about the game and their team.
  • A good coach is confident in their knowledge of the skills of the game and how to impart this knowledge to their players in the most effective way possible.
  • A good coach needs to empower their players to be the best they can be and strive for excellence in their sport.
  • A good coach provides feedback to players on their game.
  • A good coach lessens their talking in a session and lets players play the game to enhance learning. As Elvis Presley sings ‘a little less conversation, a little more action’ is needed in every camogie session.

Outside of skill development what other attributes/values do you feel are most important in a team/players development?
For team development it is important to develop team cohesion so each player feels part of the team and that their contribution is necessary for the team to function. Everyone has the need to ‘belong’ and this is important to cater for as part of the team experience. Teams need to learn how to win and how to deal with losses. On average most teams will lose more than they win so it how a team deals with this and how they learn from their losses is key. At an individual level I feel a player can benefit from practising positive mental images where they visualise themselves in different situations in a game and succeeding in the particular skill or play they are visualising. The player needs to be committed to the sport in order to flourish and home practice is necessary outside of group sessions so that they can become the best player they can be.Through practice skills become ‘automatic’ where players need to think less about what they are doing.

How much planning would you put into a session? And where would you get your ideas?
When I started coaching first I spent a lot of time planning a session but have got a bit quicker as time has gone by. Practice makes it easier. I think it is important to think about what you want to achieve in the session. Are there particular skills that the group need to work on from the last game or training session? Always have a reason for working on particular skills. Try to spot what individual player needs are and give them guidance on their individual development as not all players of the same age will be at the same level and be able to do the same things. Praise efforts on team and individual developments. Always put a plan on paper for your session and think about how to make the particular drill/game easier or more difficult to cater for all the abilities in your group. You don’t want players bored if it is too easy for them or put off the game if it is too hard for them. I have got ideas from coaching courses, coaching workshops, guest speakers, youtube and watching senior coaches in the club/county.

What is the difference between drills and games based scenarios and why would you use them in your session?
The focus should be more on games based scenarios as these are most likely to be the scenarios that mirror a game. Children want to play the game and so will learn lots by doing so. They have to think about not only the skills but also their position on the field, supporting players, communication etc. There is so much to think about when in a game situation. Decision making becomes crucial. The games should be small sided though as this allows more ball contacts which in turn leads to better skill development of the player. It is necessary to do some drill based skills when a skill is breaking down in a game in order to practice this skill before taking it to a game based situation. The idea is play the game, observe if any skill is letting the players down. Stop the game after approximately 10 minutes, take the players to a skill based drill to work on the skill. Then put everyone back into the game to work on what they have learned. This model of play the game and develop the skill and play the game again can be useful in a coaching context.

Any tips for underage club coaches?
If you love the sport and I am sure you do if you are coaching it, show this love and enthusiasm for camogie to the players as it is infectious! When someone is passionate about something you can hear it in their voice and in their verbal and non-verbal communication! The biggest tips for underage coaches is try to build a rapport with players, know their names, ensure that they enjoy the session and that there is a smile on their face going home! Complete coaching course as you will learn from other coaches and learn the correct way you should coach particular age groups. Plan the session and take notes of particular sessions that you feel went well and those that could have been better. You will learn from each and every training session. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are coaching for the right reason so once you are energetic and interested in every player and treat everyone fairly and equally players will give you everything they have and this is what you want to develop a unified team.

Jeffrey Lynskey

Galway Senior Camogie Coach (2022)
U20 Hurling Manager (2018-2021)

Liam Mellows Senior Hurling Manager

Club: Liam Mellows

Jeffrey Lynskey

What do you feel are the top traits in becoming a good coach?
You must love the game, coaching with desire, energy and enthusiasm. A growth mindset also where you continually look to improve yourself first. Patience, surrounding yourself with the right people is also important that have the necessary skill set. Coaches nowadays need a greater range of skills, so if coaches are not able to connect with the players their coaching journey will be short. Your journey as a coach isn’t linear you will face many challenges along the way, being able to deal with the many ups and downs that go with results. Most importantly remember it’s not about you, every child/player has potential it’s our job to create the right environment to help them grow and develop. Lastly, become a magbie, books, podcasts, coaching courses and chat with other coaches on their experiences, I would recommend a listen to Wade Gilbert a coach from America who really understands the coaching process.

Outside of skill development what other attributes/values do you feel are most important in a team/players development?
Character and resilience are key attributes that are needed at any level. For a team to develop and grow its complex and not any one thing but a combination of doing the right habits and behaviours combined, will lead to the right performance levels. At coach education courses we often debate the 5 C’s of Psychological focus:

  1. Commitment
  2. Competence
  3. Character
  4. Confidence
  5. Control.

For me without commitment to the group you can’t work on the other areas, the magic happens outside of training so parental involvement at the early stage is very important. The coach will only have them for 2/3 hours per week. Lastly, encourage the player’s to practice themselves as much as possible, engage the parent’s early in this process. The parent is the primary educator so with their support and guidance the player will not improve.

What is the difference between drills and games based training and why
would a coach incorporate both in training?

In my own club Mellows growing up we played small sided games max was 7 a side from u10 to u14 we learned through play with little or no drills! We went from competing at u12c to Minor A within 6 years. The game model or games based approach is what is used by most field sports over the last decade. At nursery level, fundamental movements agility, balance, coordination are critical combined with swing mechanics that help children to enjoy the game.The GBA approach will equip your players to the tactical and physical demands of the game. For me a combination of both works best, however the coaching session should be weighted more on GBA’s with technical incorporated at the beginning or end. General rule is 300/400 ball contacts per session, wall ball sessions improve players hand eye coordination with on average players hitting 600 balls in a 45 minute session, Paudi Butler has some very good session on YouTube.

How much planning would you put into a coaching session and where would you get your ideas from?
For club, with the underage we would plan our session and break up the session into small pods working on fundamentals, plus skills of hurling. From u6 to u8 we work alot on developing the swing. Pat Moore from Waterford is exceptional at coaching the strike from the hand, whilst Paudi Butler has perfected the ground stroke. Small sidegames for last 30 mins, with different conditions such as two touch only. For county I would consult with the coaches and then plan the session with a certain physical or tactical theme, such as puckouts, defensive/attacking principles. Again any evasion sports I would look at and chat with other coaches from other sports.

Tips for club coaches?
Get your foundation and award one courses completed, build rapport with your players and treat them all equally and fairly. Understand coaching is both an art and a science, is complex and requires lots of energy plus patience. One book I’d recommend is ‘Coaching better Every Session’ by Wade Gilbert.

Sandra Tannion

Galway Minor Camogie Selector (2020)

Club: St. Thomas

Sandra Tannion

Top traits in be coming a good coach:
Positive/Enthusiastic – most players will respond better to positivity than negativity .
Feedback must be delivered in a constructive way.
Friendly you must be approachable .
Good communication skills.
Organised and Efficient- good time management skills .
Knowledgeable – Players I find respect people who know what they are talking about.
Get to know your players take an interest in their lives get to know what makes them tick – have they something that they may be dealing with that could be affecting their performance ? Not everyone will respond in the same manner (girls especially ) so you need to get to know them as individuals where possible.
Be able to provide feedback some players respond better to a quiet word rather than shouting or roaring at them .

Don’t overload them with information keep it concise where possible.
Make sessions enjoyable and varied where possible .

Outside of skill development what other attributes/ values do you feel are most important in a team players development ?
Respect – Respect for themselves, teammates, management and anyone that’s involved with their team.
Humility – Especially within younger teams that are used to winning a lot. I think its important that they remain grounded because as they get older the victories may not come as easy. In an intercounty environment this also applies I feel is important that the players know that they are representives and need to act / present themselves accordingly.
Team Spirit – Important that everyone is on the same page and buys into what is trying to be achieved .
Loyalty and Friendship – Sense of camraderie willing to support stand up for one another on and off the pitch.

How much planning put into a session . Where would you get ideas from?
Depends really on what group would be coaching – half an hr / 40 mins .
Ideas either could be taken from my own training drills that I would have participated in over the years in both club or county from various different coaches. Also the use of the various different online resources they are fantastic and free.

What are the difference between drills and games based scenarios and why would you use them in your session?
Drills I feel are there to practice and perfect certain areas for example skill work, striking tackling, speed drills etc. Game based scenarios I think are important to cover or go through in training sessions because these are scenarios which will more than likely happen or have already happened and its important players know how to react and are able to cope when it happens in a game.

Psychologically I feel it helps as the players have already rehearsed what can occur and are more confident in dealing with these scenarios.

  • Be it a player getting sent off – how do we as a team cope?
  • Be it playing with/ without a sweeper. Players know how we are going to work the ball into attack out of defence or vice versa.
  • Opposition are dragging defenders out the field how do we stop space opening up in front of our goals.
  • If opposition are running at us do our back 6 know who should meet the attackers first.
  • Can we cope with an over lap etc. Full back holds protects goalie.
  • Importance of movement in the forwards how best to make space, lay off the ball give it to person in best position.
  • Be ruthless in front of goal.
  • Main free taker gets injured do we have a back up free taker .
  • Penalties – who’s on the line with the keeper?
  • I think it’s important to try to prepare for most eventualities but still to keep in mind despite best laid plans they can often go out the window and its up to the players to respond and that’s where the team spirit comes into play .

Any Tips for underage coaches?
Go watch some sessions where you know a good coach will be in attendance and watch how they get the best out of players.
Also try and sign up for some coaching courses and take as much from as many resources as you can whether that be YouTube, social media or other coaches. Always try to evolve and learn.

Robbie Lane

Galway Camogie Strength & Conditioning Coach

Club: Ballindereen

Robbie Lane, Strength & Conditioning Coach

How important is Strength and Conditioning to injury prevention?
Strength and conditioning is a key component to stay injury free in the short and long term, although you cannot pinpoint what injury you prevent, having a stronger, well rounded robust athlete is critical.

There is no point being a gifted skill player but only be available for selection once every 3 games, availability for selection each week is the biggest assets to any team.

Being strong and mobile helps prevent overuse injuries, while at a young age exploring a broad array of different movements make you an overall better athlete in the long term.

What age should you begin Strength and Conditioning?
There is no set age, but in my opinion the earlier the better, studies have shown that being involved in a proper program from an early age has lasting long term benefits and gives you a more expansive movement capacity. Which being a better mover regardless of the sport gives you a greater advantage at any age.

I cannot reiterate the word “proper” when you speak of starting Strength & Conditioning at a young age. This involves proper levels of progression with proper coaching and does not mean jumping straight into an intense heavy weight session, everyone should start with the basics and progress as their ready and no sooner. Especially during developmental years of growth and maturation.

When creating a warm routine what are the most important factors?
Firstly, a warmup should gradually build into your game or session seamlessly without much notice, game play and warm up should be hard tell apart and should not have massive breaks between.

It should start at a very basic level of movement and progress in speed and intensity the closer the start time nears.

4 elements in every warmup should be:

  1. Range of motion – Increase mobility in joints that need mobility – Ankles, Hips, Upper Back.
  2. Activation – of key muscles required for peak performance – areas of focus here should be – Glute, hamstrings & tendons around the knee and ankle involved in landing jumping and decelerating.
  3. Movement – Start with low level movement, jog, shuffle, backpedal, skip etc. increasing the tempo to higher level movements.
  4. Peaking – At the very end ensuring the athlete is peaking – sprints with adequate recovery and high intensity (quality over quantity), higher intensity jumps or a combination of both.

How would you incorporate Strength and Conditioning into a season?
Strength and Conditioning is there to compliment the on field activity, so I always work back from games/ important dates in the calendar and plan my programs from there, a key component of any program is consistency, doing a consistent properly periodised program to allow for on-field work to take priority is vital, having a lack of consistency will have athletes sore and fatigued from not being able to adapt to the regular work load involved.

Most of my athletes train in the gym right up to game day with a proper plan and focus in mind and not blindly hoping for the best, and ensuring the athletes having confidence to know they can perform at their best is crucial while following their plan. I am there to try and enhances their game not take away from it so planning is vital.

All programs have to be written in pencil you cannot be stuck or married to a certain exercise, programs need to be tweaked and to be specific for every athlete for their needs.

Anyone who tells you X exercise makes you a better player is telling you a lie; everything has a time and a place.

Any tips for underage coaches?
Be open to input and help from people who may have been involved in the past or are at a similar stage to you, ask what works? What doesn’t work for you?

Don’t push the kids into a strength program just for a ticking the box exercise, take your time, check out what they are currently doing what they have done in the past? Is this going to benefit these kids in the long term or is it just you saying you have a strength and conditioning coach?

Invest some time in learning,there is an abundance of free information out there now a days, try and find some good bits.

Ross Corbett

Galway Minor Camogie Selector (2020)
Lecturer in sports and exercise in GMIT

Ross Corbett

Top traits in be coming a good coach:
A lot of the time as coaches we are slow to change our practices away from what we have seen or done in the past. Keeping an open mind, where we are not afraid to try new things is vital. Also the ability to communicate effectively with your target market is vital; language, tone, mannerisms, examples etc can be invaluable to running a good session suited to child/youth/adult.

Outside of skill development what other attributes/ values do you feel are most important in a team players development ?
Knowing each others strengths and playing to those. Is Mary best suited to high/low ball delivery, is Claire more likely to catch this ball clean or break it, is she going to take on her player or look to pass?

How much planning put into a session . Where would you get ideas from?
A lot depends on time of year or proximity to games. A lot of my sessions are based on what is or is not going well in our games so looking back on games is one of my big go to’s for planning session. On average planning might take 30-60 mins depending on what has happened in the most recent games. I think the majority of my ideas are versions of what I have watched other coaches do in sessions. Watching other coaches run sessions and chatting to them afterwards if necessary has been huge for me.

What are the difference between drills and games based scenarios and why would you use them in your session?
I definitely think there is a place for both in most sessions but the majority of learning undoubtedly comes from games based work. For me the biggest differences are a games involve team play and competition which essentially are what decides our matches, drills can be great for skill development but the transfer to team play is minimal. The big thing in games based work is having a priority that the game is based on, i.e. ball delivery, winning possession, striking, support play etc.

Any tips for underage club coaches?
At underage level you cannot overestimate the importance of keeping it fun, the content of our sessions doesn’t count for much if the child doesn’t want to continue playing the game.

Also try to have lots of small competitions, that can be very individual; how many pick ups can you do in 30 secs? Can you strike the ball past the 45 on the ground in 2 strikes after it taking you 3 last week? Having little achievable targets can help with the fun side while still keeping the skill in focus. As I mentioned earlier, don’t underestimate going to watch other sessions to help with ideas and to build your confidence.

Brian Hanley

Galway Minor Hurling Manager
Club: Athenry

Brian Hanley

What do you feel are the top traits in becoming a good coach?
Realise everyone is different and the environment in which you coach in differs pending on club/county style and tradition. The biggest challenge I feel and most important trait is to be a good listener understand your personal and create an environment conducive to all. A good coach is one you look back on your own career and pick different traits from all like clear communicator (no mixed messages) body language always positive, honest and has a passion in development over result. The journey of a “good coach” is never complete and you must be comfortable with yourself and your ideas willing to change and welcome opinions and to delegate and empower where possible.

Outside of skill development what other attributes/ values do you feel are most important in a team players development ?
The challenge is to develop the person not only for sport but life skills also like;
Organisation and structure appreciation
Understand the roll of a manager/leader whether for sport, school or work
Value structure from home is key like all the above plus manners and respect not everyone as a player, student or employee you will agree with but a clear understanding of rules/guidelines you operate in are key.
To create a HOT (honest open trusting) understanding as a team member in a sporting, school or work place is a key personal development.

What are the difference between drills and games based scenarios and why would you use them in your session?
Age is key to when you choose one or both to use in a session. The game development structures are changing year on year but the fundamentals remain the same.
It is key at the earliest ages you play the development of correct actions using the hurl is key like holding the hurl, striking lifting etc. Game based between the ages of 5 – 10 years I often play with 2 sliotars or even 3 to create the fun side of games and keep all engaged. Its very easy for kids to opt out if not enjoying it. As you move up the ages it is key to incorporate both from skill session leading to game based small or full size games rewarding for skills worked on prior in session. Never take for granted skills are complete within a group always revisit as practice makes permanent.

How much planning put into a session . Where would you get ideas from?
With underage at club or county the planning would always be of a progressive nature to bring from skill learning to game scenario.
Basic planning of any session would be time keeping short, sharp and deliver your ideas and spot and fixes clearly.
For inter county planning would be done in 4 week blocks to incorporate your gym work s+c, dietary nutrition work and your tactical and technical work through physical training.
Being organised and well planned is key and where possible, informing those training of what is planned for that session.

Any tips for underage club coaches?
Be yourself don’t emulate anyone else or their methods or language. You only learn from trial and error but being honest with yourself is the best advice I could give, certainly learn from others take ideas and try to develop your stamp on it but remain true to yourself and put trust in those whom you have selected to work with you as the information you get if processed correctly will define you.

Alannah Kelly

Galway Intermediate Player (2021, 2022)
Galway Minor Camogie Captain (2019)
Club: Portumna

Alannah Kelly

How important has the club been to your development?
Without a doubt, my club has been central to developing me as a player. It’s where I learned discipline, respect, commitment and what hard work is both on and off the pitch. Everyday I go down I’m still developing and learning something new, so its definitely been very important to me. Without the good grounding I got with Portumna, I wouldn’t be anywhere near a county set-up today. So I will forever be indebted for the good coaching I got as a young girl.

What have the best coaches you’ve played for instilled in you?
The best coaches I have played under instilled a pretty good work ethic in me. I learned that a lot of hard work has to be put in to be successful. You could have all the talent and a great skill set but if you’re not willing to make that hook or that block or throw your body in the way of the ball you’re only wasting your own time. They’ve also instilled a lot of confidence into my game something that I think is vital to moving up through the ranks of club and county. Before I’d of been afraid to have missed a ball and I’d beat myself up over it. But the good coaches showed me its ok to make mistakes as long as I learned from them. With that confidence I have a much more positive attitude towards my performances.

What lifestyle choices have you made to get to where you are?
A lot of aspects of my lifestyle have had to change to allow me to compete at my best. I had to switch up my diet and learn what a proper athletes diet and meal as are. I was introduced into a proper strength and conditioning programme in a gym from about the age of 15-16. This was aimed at improving my match performances from physicality point of view as well as helping with injury prevention and what proper recovery is. I have also learned about sacrifice, I have missed nights out and other events like that in order to be at my best for trainings or matches. Camogie has become central to nearly all decisions I have to make. I feel its this commitment that drives me to win. I enjoy playing camogie and a lot of the time I don’t feel my choices as sacrifices.

What would you like to have been better at, at a younger age?
I would like to have been better at tackling at a younger age. There is so much technique to being good at it that I never realised. I think I only properly learned it at 14 or 15. Good tackling is almost my main job now as a defender but I would have loved to have been better at it at a younger age as it would have saved my team from a few fouls.

Any tips for underage club coaches?
Personally I think underage coaching should be all about enjoyment but also about instilling the proper basic skills in the children’s game. A good grounding through through enjoyable drills and games will keep interest levels high and hopefully making sure girls will stick with the game of camogie. I see it with my sisters u10 team that every week there is a new girl down to get a look at the craic and from there on they learn to love the games of camogie and play for more than just craic.

I think that every child remembers their first team, and their first coach. I will always remember the senior hurler full back at the time who had ties with our u10 team. He’d come down and help our manager to train us. He stayed with us the whole year and helped us to play in the B1 final. Ill never forget soloing the ball and hitting the 65 in Duggan park and seeing him running up the sideline alongside me. I burst out laughing and lost the ball, but its memories like those I’ll always have. I’d say to any coach to leave the girls with plenty of fun times to look back on.

Niamh McPeake

Galway intermediate camogie player (2021, 2022)
Club: Liam Mellows

Niamh McPeake

How important has the club been to your development?
The club has been vital for my development as it is where you are taught all the basics and the fundamentals of camogie and it is where your love for camogie grows. At your club training is where your love for camogie begins and where you can excel and express yourself.

What have the best coaches you’ve played for instilled in you?
The best coaches that I have played under have always instilled in me to never give up especially when the going gets tough This is so important when playing camogie as a match is never fully over until the final whistle. Coaches have instilled in me the importance of practising at home the 10/15 minutes of hitting the ball off the wall everyday will improve my touch and striking massively and will help them become a better player.

What lifestyle choices have you made to get to where you are?
I have made many beneficial sacrifices to be where I am toady. I have learned to discipline myself weeks before a game, I’ve learned a correct and beneficial diet as well as creating a correct sleeping plan. I’ve also had to sacrifice nights out and other events to ensure I’m not missing training. All sacrifices are forgotten about and are worth it when you’re playing camogie with your friends.

What would you like to have been better at a younger age?
At a younger age I always wanted to improve my striking out of my weak side as I sometimes found I got caught trying to turn onto my stronger side.Being able to strike off both sides has reduced pressure on me as I don’t panic about thinking about turning to my good side.

Any tips for underage club coaches?
My main tip to underage club coaches would be to ensure training is enjoyable as this will keep players interested. Encouraging and positive attitude will boost players confidence and result in them preforming better.

Aoife Nic Dhonnocha

Galway minor camogie player
Club: Cois Fharraige

Aoife Nic Dhonnocha

Cé chomh tábhachtach a bhí an club i do fhorbairt?
Gan amhras, tá an club chomh tabhachtach d’fhorbairt imreoirí óga mar is sa glub an chéad áit a imrítear camogie ag aois 7 nó 8. Go pearsanta, thug mo chlub an deis dom mo chuid scileanna a chleachtadh agus a fheabhsú i measc mo chuid cairde agus trí ghaeilge. Freisin bhí mo chuid traenálaithe uilig an spreagúil. Chonaic siad agus thuig siad an grá agus an paisean a bhí agam don spóirt agus rinne siad a ndícheal chuile scil a mhúineadh dom agus mé a spreagadh chun a bheith mar an t-imreoir is fearr a d’fhéadfainn a bheith.

Cad atá foghlamtha agat ó na cóitseálaithe is fearr?
Chothaigh no cóitseálaí is fearr a bhí agam muinín, teacht aniar agus paisean ionam. Spreag siad mé i gcónaí agus chreid siad ionam agus i mo chuid scileanna. Mhúin siad dom gan tabhairt suas anamh fiú má tá muid ag cailleadh go dona. Dúirt siad liom mo chloigeann a choineal suas i gcónaí agus coineal orm ag cleachtadh agus ag cur mo chroí agus m’anam isteach i chuile traenáil agus chuile cluiche. Ó chluiche dúshlán go craobh na hÉireann.

Cad iad na roghanna stíl mhaireachtála atá déanta agat chun an áit a bhfuil tú a fháil?
Tá go leor roghanna slí maireachtála déanta agam le bheith san áit atá mé anois. Ar dtús tá an tuafás ama curtha isteach agam ann idir bheith ag traenáil sa mbaile agus a bheith ag taistil chuig traenáil contae agus chuig cluichí as baile. Freisin tá mé ag leanúint aiste bia sláintiúil lán le próitéin agus carbahíodráit ionas go mbeidh na cothaithe uilig agam chun mo seacht míle dhícheall a dhéanamh ag traenáil agus cluichí. Chomh maith leis sin tá go leor aclaíocht déanta ann chun bheith aclaí don séasúr camogaíochta agus ina dhiaidh. Ach ag deireadh an lae is cuma liom na roghanna seo a dhéanamh mar is breá liom camogie agus bainim an-sult agus taitneamh as!

Cad a thaitneodh leat a bheith níos fearr ag aois níos óige?
Ba mhaith liom dá mbeadh mé níos fearr ag cumarsáid ar an bpáirc nuair a bhí mé níos óige mar ní raibh go leor muinín agam nuair a bhí mé níos óige agus bhí mé an-chútal.

Aon leideanna maidir le caoches club faoi aois?
Mholfainn do chóitseálaí faoi aois, féin mhuinín a chothú sna himreoirí óga ón tús! Freisin mholfainn dóibh a bheith foighneach mar go bpiocann daoine suas é ag aois difriúil. Chomh maith leis sin, déan iarracht labhairt ón gcroí mar má fheiceann na himreoirí óga an grá sin agus an paisean sin ó a chuid cóitsealaí beidh siad féin mar a chéile. Ar dheireadh, mholfainn é a dhéanamh chomh spraoíúil agus is féidir chun daoine a spreagadh coinéal leis agus
coinéal ag imirt agus a gcroí agus a n-anam a thabhairt.

Tony Og Regan

Performance psychology coach
Club: Rahoon Newcastle

Tony Og Regan
Tony Og Regan

Holistic People Development in Sport.
As a coach, manager, player, or parent sometimes it can be difficult not to be bombarded with lots of information from all aspects of individual and team development. It can be difficult at times implement all aspects of individual and team programs you would like to hit when we consider team selection, equipment, facilities, s&c, nutrition, coaching of skills and game knowledge, analysis, feedback and reviews,well-being, and sport psychology.

In this short piece, I hope to share a few insights to integrate into your team environment to help improve motivation, confidence, joy, and mindset of your players and team.

Purpose, pride, and identity – why are we here
If sport were just about winning for athletes and coaches than we would just organise a game against a team, we could beat every week by 20 points. How long before our players and coaches would get bored of this? Would they really want to play against that team again the following week? Winning is an outcome or a result of something. It is not the end. It can provide motivation but is not inspirational. People come into teams for many reasons. On an individual and team level it is important at the start of any season to ascertain why people are in the team. To understand what motivates or inspires them. Some simple questions in small groups can be an effective way to understand this.
Individual level – Why do you play sport? What are the little things you love about this game, this team, this club and where you are from? What other interests have you? Who is in your family? What would you like to achieve?
Team level – What is special about this team? What benefit does this team provide to the community? What would you like to achieve this season? What behaviours do you expect from your teammates? What behaviours do you expect from management? What is not acceptable behaviour from you, a teammate, or the management?
From this we can start to understand our team members expectations, interests and what type of values and behaviours they expect from one another. We can start to build the identity, connection, and culture in the group. We can reference the motivation and inspiration from individuals, our club and community to understand that this cause is greater than ourselves. We can design a poster, video or card with the team’s purpose, key goals, and behaviours we want to have in the team and reference them throughout the year. We can design activities on and off the field around these to embed these values and behaviours into how we do things.

Psychological needs
People want to feel connected to others within a social environment (relatedness), to function effectively in the environment (competence) and to feel a sense of personal initiative in doing so (autonomy). This is the basis of self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan).

How can we create this environment in our clubs and teams?
a) Competence
Goal setting – setting goals with our athletes around preparation, practice, performance and being a good leader in the club and community. These can cover aspects like attitude and behaviours, lifestyle, process goals (hands down in tackle, ball to hand passes, striking on the move with short grip, making space), performance goals for matches (tackles, scoring efficiency, puck out wins, etc.), mastering key skills and outcome goals (making a county team, winning a competition.).
Mastery climate – giving people positive reinforcement when they demonstrate behaviours around the club or community showing a positive attitude / effort / communication / people skills / focus, demonstrate skill improvements, help other team members through cooperation, believe each team and club members contribution is important, show respect for team members, equipment, officials, opponents and facilities. The emphasis must be on learning, improvement, enjoyment, and performance. It is important people understand that this is a safe place to make mistakes, to lose, to fail. Fail means our FIRST ATTEMPT IN LEARNING it is a vital shift when pursuing mastery and excellence in any sport. Challenge and support are crucial that we design activities that are age appropriate and skill level appropriate. We want a child to develop confidence by having many successful or close to successful execution of the core skills e.g. catching, passing, first touch, etc. and spotting them doing it and highlighting the effort, skill competencies or resilience when setbacks happen.
b) Relatedness
Peer support – team members encourage each other after good skill or behaviours demonstrated and more importantly when they attempt to do right thing, but skill broke down due to a mistake. They recognise traits in team members like honesty, commitment, positive attitude, love of learning and improving, bringing fun and friendship to the team. Having peer to peer discussions to build connection between team mates 1) This is what I admire in you as person and athlete on and off the field, 2) This is what skill or behaviour I would like to see you be more consistent on and why?
Coach athlete relationship – spend time with team members discussing aspects away from sport e.g. school, studies, friends, family, or other hobbies. Spend time understanding what motivates players in and out of sport and offering help when possible. What are the 35 challenges for them inside or outside sport now? Inviting speakers in to talk on mental health, addictions, nutrition, challenges in life like illness, injury, loss of life, etc.
c) Autonomy
Provide athletes with choices around training, playing style, tasks on and off field, provide the ‘why’ as to training and team building tasks, get athletes views on training, performance, practice, recovery, interests outside of sport,team activities and provide opportunity for independent work and taking initiative (get them to decide what they want to work on before or after training in small groups), provide feedback on competencies they want to develop, encourage development and learning of skills and tasks rather than outcomes (winning) or social comparisons.

How sport psychology can help?

Individual levelTeam level
Purpose and motivationTeam purpose and motivation
Character – values and behaviourTeam identity – values and standard
Health and wellbeingTeam goals (process + performance = outcome) clarity and reviews
Dealing with injuryTeam role and responsibility
Performance and life skills – belief, confidence, concentration, anxiety, mental rehearsal, goal setting, self-talk, letting go of mistakes, optimism and growth mindset.Continuous Improvement of the process e.g. coaching, feedback, preparation, performances, dealing with conflict, challenge/support, fun and enjoyment.

John Connor

Galway senior camogie coach (2020)
Club: Castlegar

John Connor

What do feel are the top traits of becoming a good coach?
Some of the top traits I find in a good coach is one that shows a keen interest in the job in hand. Is knowledgeable about the game and has a clear plan in place for the direction he/she wants the team to go. Develops a level of trust with the players and other management personnel. Gives honest feedback and willing to listen to players input.

Outside of skills development what other attributes/values do you feel are most important in a team/ players development?
The key areas I find outside of skill development for players and team are the use of video analysis, stats review of games and follow a strict S&C programme provided by professionals. These are the areas I find the player can make vast improvements. With video analysis and stats review it help with players being able to see areas of improvement that are needed in their game. Also helps when preparing for opposition being able to analyse their strengthens and weaknesses.

On the S&C side of things its very important to trust the S&C coaching methods. For coaches and players to build a good relationship with him or her, as at the end of the day you want every player to be able to give it their max on game day and this is the area that can get you the extra 5 or 10%.

How much planning would you put into a session ? And where would you get your ideas?
Planning for me would always be done 2 days in advance with maybe refining it in the last 24 hours. But also depends on time of year and type of session and what benefits we looking to get out of it. Session planning is done with all management input and in conjunction with S&C coach. During pre-season with more emphasis on the aerobic side of things when planning hurling part of session. Where’s in championship season its more planning on what you can improve on from the last game. Then looking at up an coming opposition and what type of game plan you would like to implement. Ideas for sessions ,I would pick up from a vast array of different coaches and then refining them to suit my sessions, I have also use drills and games that I have developed myself but all these depend on what type of system
we would like to play.

What is the difference between drills and game based scenarios and why you use them in your session?
I find its very important to start and finish your session with a skills based drills, whether this is to improve 1st touch, striking to hand or long striking. I feel it helps put the player in a positive mindset knowing they have worked on a skill before you go into your games based scenarios. The importance of games based scenarios in training I feel makes the player think under pressure, speeds up their process and makes them learn from mistakes made under that pressure while trying to execute skill. Also find it importance to work out certain scenarios that will happen in a game ,what way you would like your team to attack and defend . How you would like to setup up on your own puckout and opposition puckout. Always ask for player feedback on these situations and from time to time to let them figure it out for themselves.

Any tips of underage club coaches?
Don’t be afraid to makes mistakes, always be willing to learn from other coaches. No coach knows everything. Don’t hesitate to use drills from other sports and refine them to suits the needs of your session. Always be on the lookout for new ideas. Big thing for me always be prepared and always on time for a session. ”Coaches first ,players second” You on the field ready and setup for players and don’t have them waiting for you.


Mike Butler

Galway U16 Camogie Manager (2020)
Club: Clarinbridge

What do feel are the top traits of becoming a good coach?
Best traits are 1- be organised, have a plan and a goal for each session. 2- be a good communicator and understand that the people with you have something to offer so listen to them and lastly be there to help players who are struggling.

Outside of skills development what other attributes/values do you feel are most important in a team/ players development?
It is important with the team be it the management team or the playing team to have a consistent message and repeat it as often as is needed to ensure everyone knows the message, be honest with players and management, set out your goals and standards from the start and stick with the standards no matter what, the goals may change but should be reset if circumstances change.

How much planning would you put into a session? And where would you get your ideas?
I would asses after a few match based sessions what is needed for the team to improve on and then work on the aspects of their game but all done through a game based approach. The ideas all come from what happens in match games, tackles, tactics, player communication, side lines, frees, high fielding and so on.

What is the difference between drills and game based scenarios and why you use them in your session?
The big difference for me between drills and game based training is that the game based approach is not as regimented, it can also take on a life of it own and it usually has a level of competition just like a game. Where’s drills are very linear and usually focus on the individual player rather than groups, while the game based approach is the way to go and has now been around for quite a while it still does not seems to be adopted by most clubs and in my view that needs to change.

Any tips of underage club coaches?
To all club coaches please change as soon as you can to a game based approach to training, ensure you are working on the basics, hooking and frontal blocking in camogie are still weak at club level, work on hooking as very few know where the hurl should be to achieve a hook every time, sidelines are weak at all levels and here most players do not practice and don’t cut up the ground as the rules allow.

In a final last year there was a player from each club who both took the majority of the sidelines, one player decided that cutting up the ground to form a tee was the right thing to do and her average distance was 40 metres (so as good a free), the other player did not tee up the balk and her average was 12 feet, in short it’s the small things that can make the difference.

Kevin Connolly

Galway U16 Manager (2021, 2022)
Former Limerick Minor Camogie Manager
Club: Meelick-Eyrecourt

Kevin Connolly

What do you feel are the top traits of becoming a good coach?
The top traits of a quality coach are to have good communication skills, being a good communicator is important both delivering clear and concise messages to players or other coaches along with listening to both the players and management alike.
Knowledge and passion for the game combined with an appetite for learning new ideas to benefit their players. To teach the skills of the game effectively, coaches must have a deep understanding of the sport from the fundamental skills to advanced tactics and strategy.
Coaches must plan for the season, have knowledge about the progressive nature of training adaptation, know the rules, and provide a simple, structured environment for athletes to succeed. Plan – Prepare – Rehearse – Perform –Compete are essential for good coaching.
Staying up-to-date and informed of new research, training and everything which supports the coaching process, attending GAA coaching clinics and camps, and seeking out information from other coaches and athletes can also be very beneficial. Watching videos, reading books and taking information and ideas from other sports.

Outside of skills development what other attributes/values do you feel are most important in a team/players development?
Leadership is always important in any team or organisation and sport is no different.
Determination and having the willingness to learn are key to players development. Players been able to think or problem solve for themselves is something I promote with all my teams. We’re not developing robots who have to be told everything in the middle of a game, players have to be able to think for themselves. Honesty is key to ensure both the individuals and team develop and progress. Honesty goes further than the playing field its important in all walks of life. Develop as a person and the player will improve.

How much planning would you put into a session and where would you get your ideas?
Planning and being organised is vital as a coach. Do things always go to plan? absolutely not but being able to adapt and adjust is just as important. There is loads of content online and in books. Kilkenny GAA have a brilliant free app which can be downloaded on your phone which provides activities and games for different ages. Social media can also be a useful tool with lots of content from different sports and different coaches.

What is the difference between drills and game-based scenarios and why would you use them in your session?
Game based scenarios are exactly what it says on the tin. They are designed to replicate the movements and demands players face in a match. Drills on the other hand are mostly done in isolation. For example, the movements or skills being performed may be done under no pressure from a defender. Drills can be beneficial when players are learning a new skill however once they are confident performing that skill the next step is to perform it in a game setting. Drill first then into the game.

Any tips for underage club coaches?
Remember the aim of the coach is to facilitate learning while having Fun!! Our job is to ensure that kids keep playing our wonderful game right into adulthood. If the players aren’t enjoying training and playing they are at danger at dropping out of the game. I would encourage all coaches to prioritise player participation ahead of winning matches.

Daragh Conneely

Galway Camogie Development Officer
Games Promotion Officer, Liam Mellows
Club: Liam Mellows

Daragh Conneely

Does every club team need a goalkeeping coach?
I feel that it is next to impossible for every age in a club to have a goalie coach. I think a goalie coach is a club wide resource. This doesn’t mean that they need to be at every session going on in the club, but instead hold their own collective session with club goalies during the week. A group session is a much more productive and efficient way of coaching goalies.
Goalies interacting and learning from each other is extremely beneficial and should drive intensity.Obviously within the session drills and games scenarios should be relative to age and ability. It is important at the younger ages to work on identifying a potential goalie within certain teams. No child should just be thrown in goals as this is detrimental to the teams chances to preform and the child’s interest in the game.

What are the top traits of a goalkeeping coach?
There are a lot of top qualities needed to be a good goalkeeping coach within a team environment. These qualities are mainly based around building rapport and a good working relationship with your goalies.The more personal touch required in goalkeeping coaching is due the fact that the interactions are on a more coach to player basis rather than coach to team. Positivity and encouragement are important components to engaging with your goalie. Everything should be done in a constructive manner and you as a coach should always be driving intensity and putting the goalie in difficult, pressure situations in training.
Goalies appreciate someone having their back when mistakes occur. A goalie with confidence is less likely to make a mistake then a nervous goalie so always encourage your goalie and have their back when a mistake occurs. Always remember that confidence comes from evidence so this is why a goalie must be trained well for any situation.

What are the main aspects to coaching a goalie?
From a skills point of view there is often many different aspects to work on regarding specific goalkeeping training. For me footwork and general positioning are vital to enabling the potential of a goalie. Without a core foundation of these two aspects other areas such as shot stopping, high balls and low balls will suffer. Being quick and agile on your feet will allow a goalie to make the impossible, possible and hard, easy. Positioning on the other hand is more than just taking up a good position in the goals for shots. It always relates to your positioning and structure on high ball and the positioning of your hurl when controlling the ball or making saves. These are vital areas that require constant work. Another area is encouraging your goalie to become a vocal and good communicator during a match. Of course there are more aspects I’d love to talk about but these should be the main focuses along with a good core foundation of basic skills.

How would you deal with a nervous goalie or with a goalie just after a mistake?
The main thing is just to encourage them. Having someone who has their back is vital just from a goalies confidence. It’s a tough position at any time but especially after a mistake or when you are a nervous. A positive and confident outlook for a goalie will go a long way in terms of performance, confidence and resilience. Mistakes happen and we have to accept this but we have to minimise them as best we can. It’s vital that if a goalie makes a mistake they are resilient enough that it doesn’t lead to another mistake cause they are still dwelling on there mistake. Always back your goalie to do the right thing and never let them shy away from trying to improve. Create a reset, this is a small action e.g. clicking their fingers so that it reminds them that they are still a good goalie and that it’s the next ball that matters.

Any tips for underage club coaches?
Never stop learning! There are so many ways to learn nowadays and so many people willing to help. We must accept we can never know it all and in this we must all strive to improve and be the best we can be. I believe that a large amount of effective coaching is how well informed you are about your players and yourself. Knowing your weaknesses and trying to improve it can never be a bad thing. Evaluate and learn form everything you do, and just like your players don’t be afraid to make mistakes as it’s the best way of finding out what is effective coaching. Overall for me its all about staying informed staying positive and staying committed.

Sharon Morris

Galway Senior Camogie Physio (2019)

BSc Physiotherapy, MSc Applied Biomechanics
Physiotherapist, Galway City Physiotherapy

Sharon Morris physio
Sharon Morris

What are the most important factors for injury prevention?
In my opinion the most important factors for injury prevention are avoiding over training, good strength and conditioning coaching, good technical competency, adequate nutrition and hydration, good quality playing and training surfaces and positive behaviour and routines.

Do you see a correlation between overtraining and injury?
Absolutely! I see this all the time, in particular in developing athletes who are playing multiple sports across multiple age groups. There is a large body of research showing the consequences of overtraining. Not alone do we see increased injury rates but also acute and chronic immunosuppression, mental health issues, decreased performance, weight loss, sleep problems, fatigue and slower strength and endurance gains.

Should the coach link in with the physio when a player has an injury?
We have a very close relationship with the coaches and management involved in the teams we look after. In many high-performance teams there are a number of coaches involved with the player. It is very important to set realistic return to play goals that are player centred and planning of these goals needs to be a collaborative process to ensure the best outcome for the player.

What are the dangers of rushing a player back from injury?
The biggest danger is reinjury. Before returning a player from injury there needs to be a shared decision making process between the medical team, the strength and conditioning coach, the technical coaches and most importantly the player. General research recommendations for return to play (RTP) confirm that assessing functional, clinical and psychological goals throughout a RTP process helps to inform decisionmaking, optimum time to return and reduces risk of reinjury.

What would the advice be for coaches working with developing athletes?
In my opinion it is very important to have good communication with players and parents. Avoiding overtraining and burnout is essential. Good competent movement patterns, cardiovascular fitness, strength, balance and co-ordination are key. Periodised of training programs with adequate recovery time built in is also essential in producing robust happy athletes.

Niamh Kilkenny

Galway Senior Camogie Player
Club: Padraig Pearses

Niamh Kilkenny

How important has the club been to your development?
Club has played a pivotal role in my development as a player. I was very fortunate to grow up at a time where my club was very successful. I had great role models at a very young age and watching them gave me the desire to invest a huge amount of time to the skills of the game.

What have the best coaches you’ve played for instilled in you?
Coaches that have had an influence on me have placed an emphasis on the importance of work rate and a positive outlook. They have encouraged me to develop a wide range of skills rather than focusing on the ones I was good at.

What lifestyle choices have you made to get to where you are?
Years of experience have taught me the importance of of having a balanced lifestyle. I make a conscious effort to ensure I have good nutrition and hydration so as I can train to my maximum and that I have adequate sleeps for recovery.

What would you like to have been better at, at a younger age?
I would like to have been better at high catching and all aspects of aerial ability. Gaining primary possession is vitally important and is becoming a huge element of todays game.

Any tips for underage club coaches?
I think a primary focus should be placed on enjoyment and encouragement, with further emphasis on the fundamental skills. Remember everyone develops differently and at different rates. Allow all players to play in all positions for their development.

Johnny Burke
James Lundon

Galway Camogie Referees

Johnny Burke

What are the rules that Coaches and players maybe unfamiliar with in Camogie?
Depending on who is coaching a team will determine how well the players know the rules. It may seem like a broad statement to make but in a lot of cases, coaches and players have not read or familiarized themselves with the rules and rule book. In the case of younger players, they learn the rules as they go and the more games they play and the more exposure to refereeing styles the more familiar with the rules they become. If the coach is coming from a hurling background frustration can occur as there are roughly forty rule differences between hurling and camogie. In some instances, the rules are black and white, but others are open to interpretation and this can lead to further frustration.

There are several playing rules been trialled at adult intercounty level, these involve the level of side to side contact (as opposed to shoulder challenges) also rules around the penalty, handpass scores and dropping the hurl. I have left these out as they do not affect the club player at present.

The rules that players/coaches may not be aware of are:

  • The playing (flicking) of the opponents’ hurl in the air or on the ground before the ball (reasonable force).
  • The playing of the underneath of the hurl (reasonable force) of an opponent while soloing (it does not extend to playing the back of the hurl if chasing the player while soloing or the players hand if holding the hurl short while soloing with the ball.
  • This one causes confusion: When play is stopped due to an injury away from play to an opposing player the team in possession of the sliotar retains possession when play recommences by being granted an indirect free. When play is stopped due to an injury away from play to a teammate of the player in possession play is restarted with a throw in.
  • For puck outs: Players from the opposing team must be outside the 20m line until an attempt has been made to strike the sliotar. No mention of distance before a defender may play the ball or that the defender needs to be outside the 20m line.
  • A side-line cut/puck that is struck over the crossbar and between the two uprights directly and not touched in flight by any other player. Two points is awarded to the player’s team.

What are the traits of a good referee?

  • It assumes the author is a good referee or an expert in that he can offer an informed opinion, but for me what makes a good referee is one that.
  • Knows the rules and applies them fairly
  • Know the duties and powers of the referee, you are there for the smooth running of the game and the protection of the players.
  • Know how to interpret the rules and do not be afraid to make unpopular decisions once they are correct.
  • Be cool when everybody else is losing their head around you. If you have lines people and umpires use them, work as part of a team, the most important thing is that the correct decision is made.
  • If the referee is officiating on their own which happens most of the time it is vital that the calls made are correct as once the whistle is blown you can’t change your mind and say sorry I got that wrong after you think about it.
  • The referee must be single minded and see the incident or make the decision from a neutral point of view.
  • Do not get involved in shouting matches with the, players, mentors, or supporters, if this happens you have lost control.
  • The referee should be able to communicate with the players, before and during the game and if the players take on board what the referee is telling them the number of frees should reduce and the game flow more, thus leading to a more enjoyable game all round. It is not the referees’ responsibility for the game to be free flowing but that is the game the supporters are coming to see.
  • As players train hard and their fitness levels are high so should that of the referee. The day of standing in the middle of the pitch and officiating from there are long over.
  • As a referee I always communicate with the players and coaches the key “watch outs” before the start of each game.

What do you look for in the tackle from both players?

The following are the rules around when and how a player may tackle an opponent who is the act of playing, or in possession of the sliotar in camogie:

  • Blocking an aerial or ground puck
  • Play the opponents hurl with minimal force (flick) from the ground or in the air with their own hurl
  • Hooking an opponents hurl with their own hurl
  • Playing with minimal force (tap) the underside of the bas of an opponents hurl while she is carrying the sliotar on it
  • Shadowing a player without deliberately interfering with the hurl or the body of an opponent

What the rules say you cannot do around the tackle:

  • Deliberately shoulder an opponent.
  • Trip, catch, or pull down an opponent.
  • Charge (pushing or moving into an opponents body or failing to avoid full frontal contact with an opponent) back into or obstruct an opponent.
  • Reach from behind with the hurl or around the body which is not consistent with an attempt to play the sliotar.
  • Use the hurl to obstruct an opponent.

As a referee you apply the rules and your judgement to the play as it happens in front of you, what players and coaches alike are looking for is consistency in the implementation of the rules. I know with a coaching hat on there is nothing more frustrating if something is a free with one referee this week and not the next.

So, being able to communicate with the referee is crucial.Players needs to “paint a picture” for the referee, be it around the tackle, or any other rule, then based on his/her decision modify their play accordingly.

What would you feel are the best ways to approach a referee?
Communication is key and must be a two-way thing. However, if a player is constantly questioning every decision the referee makes the referee will soon get tired of explaining why this free was given or decision made.

It is a good idea to have an appointed player one back, one forward as it may not always be feasible for the captain to approach the referee to query a decision. Based on the information from the referee the players should then look to modify their approach thus reducing the number of frees conceded for a particular infringement.

The approach to the referee should always be respectful and not just a case of being in the referee’s ear for the sake of it or questioning a decision or because you can or shout the loudest.

Any tips for an underage club coach?

  • Make it your business to know the rules. They are there for a reason.
  • Learn the rules as you go. If a decision is given against your team speak to the referee during or after the game, then check later to see what the rule book says.
  • You cannot reverse that decision, but you will be aware of it the next time. It may be something you can incorporate into your coaching to eliminate the infringement from your teams play.
  • Up to under 14 most of the fouls will be of a technical nature, and the girls will be learning as they go so from a coaching perspective it would be advantageous if the coach is proficient in those aspects of the rules as the games will be more enjoyable.
  • There is value in all squads, from U-14 up to senior, having at least one session with an experienced referee, or official, to run through the rules differences between camogie and hurling especially regarding the specific skills or technical differences that are unique to Camogie.

In conclusion everybody wants the game to run smoothly and the referee is no different. Referees like players and coaches are human and mistakes are made, no player, coach or referee goes out to make that mistake intentionally. The name of the game is camogie and all anybody wants to discuss is the game not the referees performance.

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