Official Connacht GAA Website

Official Website of Connacht GAA

In Session Coaching

As we are primarily advocating the use of the games-based approach and this is the best practice in coaching games (8 steps):


  • Gather Attention:

Get the groups attention, use whistle/clap/loud voice, whatever you as a coach are comfortable with

  • Introduce game and link it to skill:

Explain what game we are going playing, the rules of the game and what is the focus skill and why it’s important.

  • Demonstrate and explain skill

Demonstrate skill either yourself/another coach or even a player if you wish. Use 1-3 key teaching points for the skill(cues)

  • Question to check for understanding

Use questions to see if players understand what you’re asking of them (body language a key indicator at this point)

  • Play the game

Let them at it with little instruction

  • Pause game and correct where necessary (most important step)

This is the real area of coaching.

  • Spot and raise awareness of issues arising
  • Endorse what they are doing
  • Coach by Comparison, which would be better do you think X or Y or which is fastest way to move ball? Kicking or soloing
  • Coach by Questioning, how can we improve? Where should you move when X has the ball etc.
  • Resist the temptation to tell your players what to do, you should with skillful questioning get them to come up with the answers themselves. You will have guided them to the answer which is much more beneficial in the long-term. This is a crucial process in player development.


  • Play the game

Go back into the game and see if the player will adjust, again let them play with little instruction. Give them time to adjust to the correction process

  • End/Debrief

End the exercise and endorse two or three points that was good and one area for improvement. Question the players and see if they can come up with the answers and ask what they have learned.

Reinforce club values and appreciation, thank the players and vice-versa




In Session Coaching Section