The GAA has announced details of an ambitious new project aimed at shaping the future development of sport.
The Association has joined forces with the GAA, Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) and Camogie Association to get the views of coaches at every level of football, hurling and camogie and plan for the future of their games.
Through an online survey, the sporting organisations are providing an opportunity for coaches to give an insight into their role, and their needs. It is the first time that such an approach has been taken across the entire Gaelic games community.
Targeting more than 10,000 responses, it makes it one of the most comprehensive coaching studies ever undertaken.
Coaches who complete the survey will be offered the chance to take part in a draw, whereby three respondents will win Coaching Master Class sessions. The Coaching Master Class will involve a coaching session for the winning coaches’ own team, and coaching workshop for all of their club’s coaches.
“Coaches play an extremely important role in Gaelic games,” said Dr Peter Horgan, GAA Coach Education Officer. “They provide support and guidance for their teams and players, and none more so than in the current suspension of activities.
“Within the GAA we have tried to support coaches to play their role with resources and educational programmes,” he added. “ To further that support, each of the Gaelic games associations have come together and developed a programme of research to investigate coaching practices and coach education.
“We are interested in feedback from coaches on their coaching experience, their coaching practice and how coaches see coaching into the future. We are also very interested in coaches’ experience of coach education, and what coaches feel are their own learning needs.
“The online survey will be available over the next three weeks, and I would encourage all coaches – regardless of their level of experience, whether they coach at club, school, or county levels - to provide their feedback.
“This will allow us to better understand the coach within Gaelic games and for us to plan for the types of supports that we will be providing into the future. The survey, which should take 15 minutes to complete, is completely anonymous and confidential.”
The idea behind the survey is help future generations of players realise their full potential.
“We are living in a time of unprecedented popularity for Gaelic games,” said John Horan, President of the GAA. “We have record numbers of teams playing and young people attending our camps and enjoying our games.
“With that success comes a responsibility to ensure that coach development is helping us to maximise our potential. We have a network of excellent coaching and games development staff operating across every county, and this helps to support the army of volunteer coaches and mentors who play such an invaluable role at club level.
“Coaches pass on a love of our games,” he added. “They are instrumental at enabling players perform at their best. This survey is an opportunity to ensure that coach education and development is meeting their needs and continuing to produce the exceptionally talented players that we see across club and county level.”
That sentiment was echoed by Kathleen Woods, President of the Camogie Association .
“Coaching is a vocation to many volunteers,” she said. “They provide expertise, support, enthusiasm and guidance to players within our games at all ages and levels of the game, to enable players to enjoy our games as much as possible and to reach their full potential.
“Coaches are a vital part of our Association and I look forward to seeing the results of this great initiative so we can further improve our relationship with this key group of volunteers.”
The survey is also looking for the opinions of people who may have drifted from the coaching scene, to find out why they are no longer coaching, and whether there are steps that can put in place to encourage them back into coaching. It also wants to encourage others to take up coaching roles in the future.
“We have a network of coaches dotted across the country and overseas, who are doing some brilliant work on behalf of the LGFA,” said LGFA President Marie Hickey. “We are also working tirelessly to encourage more and more of our past players to get involved in coaching, and to take their first steps on our Coach Education pathway.
“It is imperative that our coaches are equipped with the tools which will allow them to develop our sport.
“Coaching is a multi-faceted discipline, with key skills and qualities required to fulfil the role. In that regard, research that explores best practice and education should be welcomed and embraced.
“I would encourage as many of our coaches as possible to engage with the survey, and your feedback will prove invaluable. I look forward to the results that emerge from what is sure to be a substantial body of work.”
To take the survey, click here
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