Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Cill Mhantáin

Wicklow GAA ‘COACH NEWS’ Week 6

April 7th, 2021

Wicklow GAA ‘COACH NEWS’ Week 6

As we all await with optimism and hold our breath to hear what the Government will announce this week. It would be great if we are even allowed back training in pods of 15 or smaller. Just to get out of the house and get our hands on a Football or Sliotar down in the local GAA grounds would be great news for parents, coaches and more importantly our players. It’s a very difficult time for our youth with no meaningfully activity to sustain them. But the reality of the pandemic and the continuing spread of the virus means we are likely to have to persevere for a little longer before anything like our normal level of activity can resume. But if we can just get back even in small groups maybe the light at the end of the tunnel can start to get bigger.

Over next five weeks I will introduce you to the new Gaelic Games player pathway and I’ll break it down under various headings so as not to give you too much information at the one time.


The new GAA Player Pathway has three main phases; Foundation, Talent and Elite/ High Performance. These three phases are further subdivided into 8 sub-phases.


F1 – Fundamental Movement Skills

The emphasis during this phase should be placed on open play (general movement) with all children playing, exploring movement through new and fun experiences. Younger children will continue to participate in activities that are enjoyable and rewarding to them. The end product should be a fun and safe experience. Establishing a core set of motor skills related to Gaelic Games early in life enables children to gain a sense of achievement and establish a positive relationship with sport and physical activity.

  • F2 – Extension and Refinement of Movement

The emphasis during this phase is on further developing functional movement skills and the early acquisition of the specific skills of Gaelic Games. The child should have a number of years before participating in formal Gaelic Games competition.

  • F3 – Commitment to Gaelic Games and Active Lifestyle

After the consolidation of movement skills and Gaelic Games specific skills, youths begin at this sub-phase to commit to training and competition. Ultimately, the target in this phase is to retain as many players as possible so as they become lifelong participants in Gaelic Games. This phase extends from the beginning of formal competition to achieving potential at adult club level as well as providing opportunities for social and adapted games for our youth and adult players. It is inclusive of all club activities. It is in this sub-phase in which most of our players reside.


T1 – Demonstration of Potential

This sub-phase is focused on player’s initial involvement with development opportunities outside of the club environment i.e. school and development/academy/ county Squad, at early adolescent age level. It is envisaged that as many players as possible within a county would have the opportunity to experience some or all elements of the development programme over these two years.

T2 -Talent Verification

This sub-phase is focused on player’s involvement at school’s junior level. Introduction to and development opportunities outside of the club environment at mid adolescent age level. It is very much focused on synergy between club, school and county combining to provide players with a coordinated and conjoined approach towards fulfilling their potential.

T3 – Practising and Achieving

This sub-phase is focused on player’s involvement at school’s senior level, inter-county level as well as fresher’s competition at third level. These environments require the presence of best practice talent development principles allied to overarching strategic planning. This correlates to appropriate training volumes and relevant competition exposure whereby the player strives for continual performance improvement.

  • T4 – Breakthrough and Reward

The strategies necessary at this sub-phase are best implemented when player’s breakthrough to senior 3rd level and inter-county competition. Players who aspire to transition into Elite or to a High Performing level will gain invaluable experience if they participate in these competitions. However, players can also transition from F3 to E1 with high levels of support with their club. These players must benefit from proactive strategies that minimise the barriers to progression to elite adult level


Inter-county Adult Player Players at this stage achieve elite status through selection and representation on their adult inter-county team. This level is characterised by effective deliberate programming including guidance and support prior to, during and following early elite competition experiences. Support and management of the personal and sport careers i.e. Gaelic Games and work/study, is a critical component at this stage


Qualities coaches look for in their players.

  • Players who lead by example in training & games
  • Players who want to improve and show competitiveness
  • Players who are reliable and honest with one another
  • Players who show interest in team development as well as individual development
  • Players that don’t give up when the going gets tough
  • Players who are willing to learn and learn from their mistakes
  • Players that are passionate and committed
  • Players that set goals and aim to achieve them
  • Players that show respect for teammates, management, opposition and officials
  • Players that listen to criticism & feedback
  • Players that work hard for the team
  • Players that are organised before training & games
  • Players that are coachable & understanding
  • Players that are dedicated to the sport
  • Players that look after themselves away from the sport


10 Tips for Mental preparation

  1. Routine – Develop your own pre game routine which involves specific behavioural and psychological steps
  2. Cue words – develop your own words or phrases that are specific o your own perception of a successful performance
  3. Focus – try and stay in the here and now. Focus on the present and don’t let anything distract you
  4. Goals – set process goals to help you reach your end goal
  5. Breathe – practice deep breathing to relax your physiological and psychological arousal
  6. Imagery – take time t0 imagine yourself performing successfully
  7. Emotions – don’t let negative emotions overcome you, stay in control of them
  8. Relax – take a few moments to gather your taught and focus
  9. Positivity – stay positive and focus on the things that you are going to do well
  10. Be yourself – don’t copy others, find your own ways which will help you to mentally prepare for a game.


How to address mistakes/problems?

As coaches we must emphasise that when a mistake/problem happens, there are three things we must care about.

  1. What’s the best way to solve the problem?
  2. What did we learn from the situation?
  3. How will we reflect that learning in new processes will diminish the likelihood of that mistake happening again?


Dates and Venues for the 2021 Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps

5th July – 9th July

Avoca – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Baltinglass – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Bray Emmets – Boys Football, Hurling, Camogie & Ladies Football

Valleymount – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Tinahely – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Laragh – Boys Football & Ladies Football


12th July – 16th July

Arklow (Pearce’s Park) – Boys Football, Hurling, Camogie & Ladies Football

Blessington – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Glenealy – Hurling & Camogie

Stratford/Grangecon – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Carnew Emmets – Boys Football, Hurling, Camogie & Ladies Football

Eire Og Greystones – Boys Football & Ladies Football


19th July – 23rd July

An Tochar – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Enniskerry – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Donard/Glen – Boys Football & Ladies Football

St Patricks – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Kilcoole – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Hollywood – Boys Football & Ladies Football




26th July – 30th July

Aughrim – Boys Football, Hurling, Camogie & Ladies Football

Eire Og Greystones – Hurling & Camogie

Blessington – Boys Football, Hurling & Camogie & Ladies Football

Barndarrig – Boys Football, Hurling, Camogie & Ladies Football

Newtown – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Dunlavin – Boys Football & Ladies Football



9th August – 13th August

Ashford – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Annacurra – Boys Football, Hurling, Camogie & Ladies Football

Kiltegan – Hurling & Camogie

Kilmacanogue – Boys Football & Ladies Football

St Patricks – Hurling & Camogie

Shillelagh/Coolboy – Boys Football & Ladies Football


16th August – 20th August

Avondale – Boys Football, Hurling, Camogie & Ladies Football

Newcastle – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Rathnew – Boys Football & Ladies Football

Coolkenno – Boys Football & Ladies Football


Recruiting Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camp Coaches Summer 2021

Applications are invited for positions as Coaches for the Kellogg’s GAA Cúl Camps 2021. Camps will be running in Wicklow from 5th July – 20th August in Juvenile clubs across the county subject to GAA/Government guidelines. Applicants must have current or previous coaching experience in a club, school or county development squad. Evidence of current coaching role may be required. Coaches will be required to coach both Hurling and Gaelic Football to children aged 6-13 in camps. The following are the minimum criteria that all coaches must have before they will be considered for a position.

Under no circumstances can we offer coach positions to coaches who do not meet the coaching qualification criteria.

  • Be 18 years of age by 1st July 2021
  • Minimum GAA Foundation Coaching Course completed. (We plan to run a Foundation Course specifically for potential coaches who have not completed this yet)
  • GAA Garda Vetting Reference Number. Vetting number must be supplied. If not completed please log onto to get vetting completed
  • GAA Safeguarding (Child Welfare) Certificate Number must be supplied. (We plan to run a child safeguarding course specifically for potential coaches who have not completed this yet)

Training for all coaches will take place prior to the commencement of Cúl Camps and will be mandatory to attend. Training will likely be a mix of online and face to face again depending on GAA/Government guidelines at the time. Application forms are on our Social Media channels by accessing the Microsoft Form to complete your details.  


Back to Play GIVEAWAY

Win a set of 20 bibs and 40 cones for your club. Just answer the following question correctly and send the Answer together with your name and selected club by Text to 087-2718537 before Sunday 4th April at 4pm Question? Who are the Sponsors of the Wicklow Senior Football Team?


Easter Skill Challenge

Take part in our Wicklow GAA Easter Home Skills Challenge and be in with a chance to win one of Six Wicklow GAA Jerseys (three for Hurling & three for Football)                                                                                                                Wicklow GAA would like to give our underage players (10-15yr olds) an opportunity to win a County Jersey and be one of two lucky players to get your team a free Coaching session with a County Hurler and Footballer, whilst showcasing and practicing your skills at home. We are asking our underage players to take part in a 14-day home skills Easter Challenge.

The skills challenge begins on Monday, the 29th of March and finishes Sunday, the 11th of April with a SKILLS TEST CIRCUIT. After the 14 days, parents can submit a short video showcasing some of the skills your child has mastered over the 14 day EASTER period. Only videos submitted by parents/guardians will be accepted. Video entries can be submitted via What’s app to Hugh Kenny 087-2718537 or Tag Wicklow GAA on Facebook.

Entries must be received by our closing date on Wednesday, 15th April, after which the winners will be announced. Clubs/Parents are welcome to post pictures/videos on their own social media platforms to help encourage as many participants as possible and tag Wicklow GAA to help spread the word throughout our county or by challenging a friend to do the same. Please wear your club colours when completing any of the challenges.

Due to the current restrictions, these challenges are to be completed at home. Be creative as you can by creating your own situations by designing your own drills. Practice on both sides Left & Right. Winners will be announced on Wicklow GAA social media platforms and the Coaching Corner section of the Wicklow People.

The Competition is open to all players on the three Player Pathway stages, with one winner selected from each of following three Categories in Hurling and Football to win a County Jersey.

Late Go Games AGE 10-11

Early Teenage AGE 12-13

Mid Teenage AGE 14-15

Please state The Players Name, Club and Age group that they are entering the competition when sending in your videos or tagging Wicklow GAA

All Entries that submit a video must have the consent of a parent, and ALL video’s will be entered into a draw for their teams “Coaching Session” with a County Footballer and a County Hurler.


Quote of the week:

“Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”

– John Wooden, Basketball


Three Weekly Coaching Tips:

  1. Develop a network and support structure. Be a resource manager.
  2. Best, better, brilliant – there’s always room for improvement
  3. What you believe will happen, will happen. What the mind can conceive it will achieve.






15 Player Profile Questions

Name: Dylan Cummins

Club: An Tóchar

School: Colaiste Chraobh Abhann

  • My Favourite GAA Player? Philly McMahon
  • My Favourite GAA Grounds? Croke Park
  • My Favourite Playing Position? Corner back
  • My Favourite Food? Steak
  • My Favourite Music? Rap
  • My Favourite TV Film or Programme? A league of their own
  • What I think is the most important Skill in the game? Mind-set
  • What is your favourite GAA Drill/Activity? Playing Matches
  • In 10 years’ time I hope to be? Playing senior football with An Tóchar
  • My favourite team in any Sport? Arsenal
  • If I won, the Lotto I would? Retire
  • Do you play any other Sports? No
  • What are your hobbies? GAA
  • My Pet Hates are? Bad referees
  • My favourite PlayStation Game is? Fifa


You can contact us:

We also invite emails from Wicklow People readers/coaches if they would like any topic or area covered in more detail in our “Coach’s News” section. Coaches can email their queries and questions to and we can address them by providing the relevant information each week






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