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Conference Theme: Coaching Adults: More than the Sum of Our Parts
Some of the top names in Gaelic Games coaching will be involved in the GAA’s annual National Games Development Conference – “Coaching Adults: More Than the Sum of Our Parts” – which will take place on Saturday January 12th, in Croke Park. This is the 10th annual Conference, and aims to address issues related to the adult player that are of most concern and interest to members of the GAA community.
Run as a partnership between all of the Gaelic Games Association, the Conference will offer the 700 delegates attending an opportunity to access talks relating to key coaching issues in hurling/camogie, Gaelic football/Ladies Gaelic football, Handball and Rounders which are specifically related to the adult player.
A star studded line up of speakers will feature coaches from the world of Gaelic Games, coaches of Irish Olympic medallists, players, athletes and international speakers from both Australia and Britain. Irish Olympic boxing coach Billy Walsh, Paralympic Hand Cycling champion Mark Rohan and racehorse trainer and breeder Jim Bolger will provide a view from other sporting arenas. Extending the player participation at the Conference, Sligo footballer Brendan Egan will present on key nutritional concepts for coaches, while Wexford’s Kate Kelly will be joined by her All Ireland winning manger JJ Doyle to focus on the manager’s and player’s perspective on player development.
A special feature of the Conference will be the hosting of two panel discussions; one will be football specific and will relate to the upcoming Football Review Committee Report where Eugene McGee will be joined by Pat Gilroy, Glen Ryan and Kerry Ladies Football manager William O’Sullivan. Cork’s Jimmy Barry Murphy, Galway’s Mattie Kenny and Westmeath manager Brian Hanley will focus on the evolving role of the coach in Hurling.
The prevention of injury will be one of the main focuses, with physiotherapist Enda King joined by Dr. Catherine Blake from UCD, and Ladies Gaelic football players to provide details of an innovative injury prevention programme that has been piloted amongst Ladies Gaelic football teams and will become a feature for all Gaelic games teams over the coming years.
An international flavour will be provided by two world renowned experts in sports psychology and leadership development. From Australia Gerard Murphy of Espada Consulting, will bring a range of experience including involvement with AFL, both Rugby Union and League, Basketball and Netball, specialising in team alignment and leadership development. From Britain, Dr Denise Hill has researched and worked with a range of athletes, especially in golf to prevent choking and will provide some practical tips for coaches to assist and challenge their players.
Covering issues related to performance analysis, Head of Performance Analysis at UCC, Len Browne will present not only on conducting analysis of your team, but more importantly, how the coach can convey this message back to the players.
The list of speakers represents the most impressive gathering of individuals involved with coaching and games development ever assembled for an event of this nature and there is already massive interest in the Conference. Places are limited and those wishing to attend should reserve their places as soon as possible.
Launching the Conference, Uachtarán, Liam Ó Néill said: “The GAA Games Development Conference has become a must attend event for anyone with an interest in how we promote our activities and the ongoing pursuit for excellence and best practice.
“It is unrivalled in an Irish sporting context and the level of expertise across a whole range of disciplines involved in this year’s event, underlines the standard we have to come to expect from it year in, year out.
“That’s it takes on a different focus every year – next year’s Conference focuses on the development of adults – adds further to its allure and usefulness and I commend the team charged with organising what is a thought provoking and thoroughly engaging event on an annual basis.”
Reflecting the partnership approach in the organisation of this year’s Conference, Mary O’Connor (acting Árd Stiurthóir, Camogie), Chris Curran (National Manager, GAA Handball, Helen O’Rourke (Árd Stiurthóir, Ladies Gaelic Football Association) and Joe O’Donoghue (President, Rounders Association) were also in attendance.
This year also sees Newstalk come on board as official media partner to the conference.