Official Connacht GAA Website

Official Website of Connacht GAA

16-17 Yr Olds

16-17 yr olds

Stage: Late Teen’s, Youth: Learn to Compete
Technical Football

–  -Catching

·       High, Low, Body catch

·       -Kicking

·       Punt, Hook, Swerve

–  -Hand pass

·       Bounce, hand and fist pass

–  -Solo

–  -Movement

·       Roll, Side step, Dummy solo/Feint

–  -Tackle

·       Near Hand Tackle, Tackle the ball (Pop out), Block down, Side to side charge


-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

·       Tackling/disposing opponents

·       Technical work becomes more role specific, which allow players to excel in a particular playing position and understand game plans

·       Improve decision making capabilities and master the essential skills in pressure situation

·       Learn to disguise the intention under pressure with an opponent

Physical ·       Flexibility: Ongoing flexibility, which at this stage should be incorporated within daily routines and individualized to address specific player weaknesses. All team training sessions should prioritise a period for effective flexibility warm up/down stretching

·       Speed: Multidirectional movements between 5m & 25m with recovery in between (Part or the warm / Individuals). Incorporated with other functional movement activities (COD, acceleration & deceleration)

·       Strength: Upper body strengthening can be incorporated using own body weight, free weights and some medicine ball (weight) training. Lower body strengthening can move to low level plyometrics, Free weights and Medicine ball training.

·       Endurance: Players should follow a well-structured endurance and speed endurance training programme which is progressive in nature moving from individual fitness components to high intensity exercises and small sided games.

Tactial ·       Decision making, trial & error (attack & defence) through whole team principles of play

·       Understanding the specific responsibilities of the various position through playing experience and minimal direction from the coach

·       Principles of play in attack & defence (linking the two) and Attacking/Defensive responsibilities in transitional play and counterattack

·       Small sided games are crucial in players developing decision making. 5v5, 7v7,

·       Creating width, depth, penetration and Communication


Team play ·       Players are challenged to adapt to a number of teams playing styles throughout the session

·       Attacking Play: Implement attacking principles both in possession and support play

·       Maintain possession: Moving the ball as a team and understanding depth of support ie. Third man runner.

·       Defending: Implement and understand the principles of defending ie. Delay, Deny, Dispossess & deliver

Psycho/social ·       Fair play and RESPECT for officials.

·       Goal setting with individuals and teams and empowerment of players within this decision making.

·       Ability to mix and communicate with all team mates and Coaches.

·       Lifestyle and time management – maximizing academic and sporting performance

Coaching Style Democratic Style

·       Important to create a ‘Mastery Climate’ while developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ in players – effort and improvements creates success above 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? (Reaction to error)

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

Player Characteristics ·       Youth players are not yet adults so should not be subjected to adult style training programmes

·       This age group experience hormonal changes and imbalances which result in youths being moody and at times irrational in their behavior

·       Players start to have other pressures at this stage including academic, social and family which may impact on their emotional state and behaviours

·       Focus here is on further developing endurance/stamina and strength

Health & Performance ·       What foods to eat and when (for training and competition)

·      Importance of adaptation (recovery) – recovery sessions (pool / cycling / feet up)

·       Importance of Sleep within the recovery process.

·      Drug and anti-doping awareness – impact of drugs on health and lifestyle

·       Mental health awareness – impact of sport on wellbeing

·       Time management

Equipment ·       Football, one per 2 player, cones, Bibs, agility poles, hurdles.

·       Tactics Board


Recommended session structure: (75 mins)

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 (7-10min)

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 Conditioning (10/12mins

Pitch size changes within the games to work on different aerobic & Anaerobic conditioning work required at different stages of the season (Pre-season & Competition)

                                                                                                                                                        Small sided games (20 mins)

Games should be 5 v 5, 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: 10
  • At least 1 ball for every 2 players and always make session enjoyable and fun for
  • Coach must be well organized and have sessions planned
  • All players to make their own decisions on the pitch, use simple language and set the example by showing respect to players and match officials,

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


16-17 Yr Olds Section