Thursday, 22 December 2011

GAA coaching App

The first ever GAA coaching App is going to be an APPsolute necessity!

This exciting new App has being developed by Elevate Sports Solutions Limited a young and innovative company based in Maghera, Co. Derry. The App was launched this week on Apple’s App store.

The App is available free in Lite version, which contains four coaching drills and will give the user a feel for the ease of use style and functionality of the App and allow them to consider upgrading. The full version App is priced at a very reasonable £14.99 (that is 29p per drill!), which allows the user to access 52 coaching drills, select individual drills and include them into their own training session. The coach will be able to include as many drills as desired, organise the timing and length of each drill allowing the coach to know exactly how long each drill and the entire session will take.

It looks like the developers of ESS invested a great deal of time in designing these resources and GAA coaches/managers should get great use from them on the training field. On speaking with ESS director Donal Leahy, we spoke about why they created these coaching resources.

We at Elevate Sports Solutions Ltd aim to provide innovative and useful coaching aids to coaches at all levels and we hope our first offering can go some way towards helping them conduct interesting and efficient training sessions’.

The other coaching resource that ESS are releasing is the ESS coaching cards which have the same 52 coaching drills that are on the App and are aimed at catering for GAA coaches/managers who do not use smartphones.
These cards are a quality made card, with clear PVC coating for extra durability and water resistant.

The ESS coaching cards are available to purchase directly from ESS’s website ( and the App is available on the App store and will soon be available on the Android market. Please click on the image to go to the App store.

For more information on Elevate Sports Solutions Limited please contact Donal Leahy at


Here is some further information on the App/Cards

The Elevate Gaelic Football Coaching App aims to provide coaches with colour-coded drills and games that are laid out in a fast, easy-to-understand format.

The application allows the user to:

·         Access drills and games from specific coaching categories (Passing, Attacking, Defending and Skills)
·         Create and manage training sessions
·         Search for specific drills within the application
·         Access Elevate Sports Solutions website


Each drill includes:

·         Drill Illustration
The drill diagram illustrates how to set up the drill. The arrows indicate the actions that the players must complete to successfully complete the drill.

·         How to do the drill
The information required to do the drill or play the game. Information relating to the drill set up, sequences, rules, time and number of players are also included.

·         What coaching points to reinforce
The main coaching points required to effectively perform each drill or game

·         If the coach wants to change it
If the coach wants to change the drill, the App suggests ways of doing so. Making it harder or easier depending on age or ability levels of participants.

·         Equipment needed to perform the drill
The equipment legend tells you exactly how many cones are required, the minimum number of footballs, the amount of players required to effectively carry out drill or game and other specialist equipment when needed e.g. poles or tackle bags.


The Training Session section will allow users to:
·         Create and add drills to specific training sessions.
·         Save as many training sessions as you want.
·         Delete and re-order each individual drill.
·         Include reps for each drill as well as the duration of each rep.
·         Calculate the total time of each session.


Users will be able to search for specific coaching cards by entering a keyword into the ‘search for a drill’ section.

Tabata Training

In recent weeks I noticed a few people on Twitter (mostly @adolfcoors) talking about tabata training and the benefits of it. 

It is essentially interval training, but has a certain breakdown. It was reserached by Izumi Tabata  (pictured right) in Japan.  There is loads of information on the net about it.

The concept is based on 20second bursts of all out effort, followed by 10seconds of rest.  This is repeated 8 times for a 4 minute routine.

The 20 second bursts should be at max effort.  If it is cycling, your 20 seconds should be your best impression of Mark Cavenish heading for the line in Paris.  The 10 seconds of rest seems like just a blink.

It is an intense workout and if you are beginning a new year fitness drive, I would advise you to work your way gradually up towards this level of intensiy.  Once you are there, it will be your new secret to fitness for 2012.  No more excuses of not having time to train!

The routine can be done with various different exercises, front squats, burpees, rowing, cycling.  The list is endless, as it is all about the intensity during those 20seconds. 

Two tabatas can be coupled together, with a 1 minute interval for a quick intense workout. 

For more variation, you could probably mix it up, 2mins of burpees followed by 2 mins on the punchbag.

So looking for something different for my next fitness programme, I decided to give it a go and have being doing it on a regular basis.  The other evening in the gym after my usual routine, I did a box jumps tabata, which left me totally exhausted. 

Also a few mornings each week before work, I do a tabata on the rower, followed by one on the spin bike. A great way to start the day.  It is a great fat burner and the limited time it takes is a huge advantage.  @jcmcloskey who trains with me, says it raises the metabolism for 31hours after one of the sessions, interesting point.

@emcnprofitness has suggested the following one for me to tackle next.  It will be a good way of burning off the turkey and the festive cheer. It has a slight variation, in that it is done by reps and not time. But as long as the rest times (10secs) are consisent and you are giving max intensity, it should do the trick.

35-40kg on the bar - FRONT Squat as close to floor as possible - No Half Squats
  • Set 1 - 9 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 2 - 8 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 3 - 8 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 4 - 7 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 5 - 7 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 6 - 7 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 7 - 7 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
  • Set 8 - 7 Reps - 10 Sec Rest
He also to me to keep a zimmer frame handy when its over!