Saturday, 30 July 2011

Back to basics

In the past children played in the playground at school. They played, tag, hide ‘n’ seek etc and got all the exercise they needed. Times have changed. To compensate for this, the GAA Coaching Hierarchy began to put a huge emphasis on ABC’s at primary school level. Agility, Balance and Coordination.

So in an era where the internet, TV and video games are highly accessible, youth officers and coaches have rolled out a very well structured coaching scheme to teach kids basic movement and exercise skills.

However there is another worrying trend creeping into our game. How many players can kick a long pass accurately? How many players can catch a high ball in a ruck of players? Can they put the ball over the bar on a regular basis?

High Ball into Donaghy for the first goal

Kerry’s decision to put Kieran Donaghy into full forward transformed their 2006 season. It was back to the era of Bomber Liston, Jimmy Keaveney etc. However, for this to happen you need two things…..a strong target man who can win his own ball and players who can direct a good pass into the full forward line.

In your club U14 team do you have players who can pass the ball accurately? How many forwards in your U16 team can score regularly from play? Can your midfielders, full back and full forward win a high ball against their opponent?

There are so many other things creeping into our game. Third midfielder, two man full forward line, blanket defence, breaking ball and turnovers. The list could go on.

These can all be very useful additions to a teams armoury if they are looking for success or trying to play against a difficult opponent. But are we neglecting the basic skills of our game?
  • Consider the advantages of improving your long kicking, can your passes unlock a defence?
  • Consider the advantages of increasing your scoring rate, can you be another source of scores for your team?

  • Consider improving your overhead catch. Can you win more kickouts or make a match winning catch at the edge of the square?
Just something for us to think about.

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