It is that time of year where opinions are formed, decisions made from players, members, supporters alike in relation to the coaching ability of the present incumbent or in advance of the new incoming coach for 2024.

Rightly or wrongly a coach can be judged on his/her ability as a coach depending on how the training sessions are structured and a coach themselves can fall into this trap also. The thing is sessions are judged on with the wrong criteria. There is a lack of awareness among some to what actually makes a good session. Here are a few examples:

Many a time I have heard a coach been praised just because there was loads of cones spread out or the players are using all this fancy equipment!  Yes the coach looks organised and the players will be kept busy but is that enough? Are the players been developed in line with their roles on the pitch?

Another example is a person who is considered a good coach because all his training is ‘sport specific’ or specific to what is happening in a game. Sport Specific is the buzz word over the last few years but I would disagree and by just focusing on sport specific training you are missing out on other elements to maximize performance. The research has shown that field sports are intermittent activities in that period’s of high intensity are interspersed with periods of medium to low intensity activity.

Gaelic Footballer’s can cover 10km-12km in total distance with 2-3000m covered at high intensity. The aerobic system has a massive role to play in assisting the player to recover from and repeat the high intensity activity when required. Sessions, drills can be designed to improve a players aerobic fitness and may involve a ball but may not be ‘specific’ to what is happening in a game. Improving the player with non –  specific work will lay a greater platform so they can perform their high intensity activity at a higher level and with greater consistency over the duration of the game.

Then there is the coach who club officials are unsure of, if he has no cones or poles laid out!! As coaches we have got to think about what we are trying to develop in our players. This will be governed by our overall game plan / systems of play (hopefully there is one!!) but mainly we have got to develop players to become good decision makers both on and off the ball.  A player might only be in possession of the football for 1-2minutes in a game.  Are we developing good decision maker’s when players are told where to run from and told where to pass the ball to?? Is this what happens in a game. In this scenario there is a poor transfer of training and players make more mistakes in a game as they are put under different constraints in a game. Please think about are your sessions preparing your players for optimal performance??

To summarize from the outside looking in, a session may involve no cones, look disorganized, have players walking around, lots of mistakes been made by the players but more importantly a ‘LEARNING EFFECT’ maybe taking place and players are developing their roles specific what they need to do on the pitch.

Well then that could be considered a good session and an effective coach!!By the way there will always be a place the use of cones, training poles etc….but just at the right time and in the right context.

Many a selection process fails due to wrong criteria!!

Looking forward to a new season,

PK (0877600658)

Categories: Coaching /

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