Steven Poacher

STEVEN POACHER: A good coach is always learning

By Steven Poacher

In just over two weeks, hundreds of coaches from all over Ireland will descend upon our school, St Joseph’s Boys High School, Newry, to attend our now annual Coach Education event.

The event that has been in existence for over 14 years now is unique and different to most days, first and foremost, the cost of the day hasn’t really changed in 14 years and every single penny goes back into the development of GAA and sport for the boys in the school. A non-profitable day at great value for a great cause.

Also the format of the day is unique and slick in its operation. We start off with a talk inside, followed by practical sessions on the field that are demonstrated by the Down minor footballers.

On the day this year for the very first time, we have four presenters – four men who have a variety of skills, qualities, and experiences to share with coaches on the day.

I am probably tired now beating the same drum that the greatest resource we have as coaches is each other and these four men will bring a savage amount of learning to the table.

Colm Collins will open proceedings and I have no doubt that with the knowledge, experience and knowhow Colm possesses we will be in for a treat.

Colm’s reputation as a players’ man was very evident, the group of players he worked with in Clare absolutely adored him and give everything they had every time they crossed the white line coupled with a very cute tactical approach, Colm had Clare playing way beyond their perceived level.

On the pitch, no better man to open the first of three pitch sessions, Mick Bohan.

Mick is renowned for being the Dublin ladies manager who oversaw five All-Ireland title wins, but also was a coach in 2013 when Dublin won the men’s All-Ireland, a remarkable achievement to achieving success in both games.

Mick will talk initially about creating a culture within the group first and foremost, because if that’s not right, it won’t matter what games or drills follow. Mick’s unique presentation on complex skills is very different and something worth seeing.

Philip Kerr will follow Mick. Philip has been coach educator for a long time and is the author of six coaching books. Philip will deliver an interesting topic centered around the three friends in attack – spacing, separation and spotting.

Philip though will want coaches to look at the games as vehicles, so it doesn’t matter what the game is, what can you see in the game – spotting player habits and how would you go about changing those habits.

Concluding our pitch sessions will be Evan Talty, current Roscommon u-21 coach and founder of IGAACOACH.

Evan is a young smart thinker on the game, and he will present a number of different games centered around transition play.

Evan wants coaches to use effective questioning when helping players solve problems within the game.

He is a hugely innovative coach who will undoubtedly leave us with a huge collage of ideas to bring back to our respective teams.

All in all, a serious action-packed morning, on Saturday, November 18, starting at 10am in St Joseph’s Boys High School Newry and the cost is only £20.

This time of the year truly is perfect for coaches to upskill and I have no doubt the coaches in attendance on the day will certainly go home with a world of ideas, styles and methods to ponder over.

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