Official Connacht GAA Website

Official Website of Connacht GAA

12-13 Yr Olds

 12-13 yr olds

Stage: Early Teen’s Youth: Learn to compete
Technical Football


High, Low, reach and body Catch


Punt, hook, swerve, ground

–  Hand pass

Fist and Bounce Pass

–  Solo

–  Movement

Roll, Side step, Dummy solo/Feint


–  Striking from the Hand

Static, On the run, over the shoulder, the drop shot

–  Catching

High Catch /Jump Catch, Chest Catch, On the bounce

–  Hand pass

COD pass

–  Pick up

Jab lift, Roll & spin, Foot pick up, Ground flick up

–  Hooking & Block

·       Key focus is skill refinement and learning to master the essential skills of the game off both sides of the body with excellent balance

·       Spot areas of weakness and give these extra emphasis

Physical ·       Flexibility: Through dynamic mobility activities and static stretching at the end of the session

·       Evasion: Encourage use of side step, feint and change of direction in possession of the ball.

·       Body resistance: Performed through Fun games using push, pull, squat & lung movement patterns. (Partner Work)

·       Still working and refining elements of the ABC’s

Tactical ·       -Work individually and in small groups to understand principles of attack and defense. Play conditioned games to create pressure on players decision making.

·       Creating and exploiting space

·        Working to prevent scoring opportunities, push opponent wide or onto weaker side

Team Play ·       Learning to work in a team environment, decisions now has more impact on the team outcome.

·       Off the ball movement, creating space for teammates

·       Small sided and conditioned games are key for developing focus on specific and skills, tactical awareness and team play

·       Continue to allow players to explore all positions and limit plays of the ball to allow lots of touch with the games.


Psycho/social ·       Respect and fair play – for self, for team mates, for opposition and for officials

·       Putting in effort – acceptance that effort outweighs performance at this stage

·       Communication skills to team mates

·       Develop positive reinforcement by self-talk and work on personal development plan (Goal setting, Short, Medium & Long Term)

Coaching Style ·       Democratic Style

·       Coaching emphasis of success is on effort and individual improvement rather than success through winning.

Coach Self- reflection Reflection helps a coach to link their knowledge to practice, helping them to improve what they do and how they do it. Through self-reflection and improved awareness, the coach is able to consciously and purposefully improve their coaching practice

·       How did the session go and did every player improve/participate?

·       Was the session challenging, enjoyable and well orgainised?

·       Were you positive in your body language and in how you communicated throughout the session? (Negative, reaction to error)

·       What is the work on’s for the next session/priorities?

Player Characteristics ·       Improved co-ordination (including hand to eye) so at an ideal age for learning skills, the primary focus at U13.

·       Increased control over motor skills, ABCs & speed, all which should be linked to ball skill development.

·       Be comfortable in possession of the ball and develop good game sense

·       May be going through growth spurts – will develop at different rates (heights, strengths and mood)

·       Becomes very self-conscious in front of groups/peers

·       Lack of confidence may be a barrier to development.

Health & Performance ·       Importance of hydration (drinking water)

·       Eating correctly for training and matches (pre and post meal)

·       Importance of warm up, cool down, core/strength program at home

Equipment Football (Size 4) one per two players, cones, Bibs, portable goals, agility



Recommended session structure: (60mins)

Warm-up (GAA15 15min)

Used as a pulse raiser and part of a long-term injury prevention programme. Ensure GAA 15

principals are always used while regularly adding fun elements.

Skill game activity (10mins)

Complex skills, two balls pass and moving using both feet and both hands, working on first touch and the skills on the game. Loads on movement as Kick pass must be over 15m long of both feet.

Skill game activity (15min, 7min game, 1min feedback, 7 min game)

Possession based games with the emphasis of kick passing. Team tries to keep possession using both hand and kick pass, score awarded to teams for every kick pass over 20m into space.

Small sided games (20 mins)

 Games should be 3 v 3, maximum 9 v 9, focus on the theme of the session. If the focus was dispossession and defending, let players know you will reward an extra point for their team upon a successful block, hook, interception.


Top Tips:

  • Coach: Player Ratio 1: 8
  • Coach well organised/Planned Session
  • All players to make their own decisions on the pitch, use simple language
  • Be enthusiastic to create a sense of fun and enthusiasm when playing GA

Sample drills and activities can be got at following websites/pages:


12-13 Yr Olds Section