Official Connacht GAA Website

Official Website of Connacht GAA

Spot and Fix


Skill Common Faults Common Causes Corrections & Adjustments
Ground Strike Not striking the sliotar Lifting the head up to follow the ball Keep the head down, looking at the original position until the follow through
Not stand close enough to the ball Hold the Hurl at the top with the dominant hand, place the bas of the hurl beside the ball, while standing upright
Pick Up (jab lift/ roll lift) Player isn’t rising the ball. Sliotar is moving away from the player Hurl is being held at too great an angle Make sure the Hurl is being held level/ parallel with the ground
Catching the ball in the dominant hand; this may lead to difficulty when attempting to strike the ball To correct, ensure that the non-dominant hand is released to catch the ball
Holding the hurl with the ‘toe’ facing inwards; this may lead to difficulty in sliding the hurl under the ball To correct, the hurl is turned to face the ‘toe’ away from the body
The Dribble Player loses control of the sliotar The toe of the hurl is facing towards the ground Place the heel of the hurl on the ground
Player has one hand on the hurl Ensure player always has two hands on the hurl
The player is holding the hurl with both hands at the top Make sure the dominant hand is at the top of the stick, and the other half way down the hurl for controlled possession
Striking from the hand Missing the ball completely Holding the hurl at too long at the grip Hold the hurl short initially before gradually moving to hold it at full length
Placing the non-dominant hand above the dominant hand on the hurl; this may limit their ability to adapt the strike in a game situation Place the non-dominant hand below the dominant hand (close to the butt of the hurl) in the lock position
Tossing the ball up too high or too far in front Practice simply tossing the ball up to shoulder height and catching it
Ground Flick Missing the ball Not getting close enough to the opponent; may be exposed to being struck during the follow through Make shoulder to shoulder and hip to hip contact.
Taking the eyes off the ball, this may mean missing the ball entirely Keep the head down and eyes on the ball until the flick is complete
Performing the swing too slowly. Use a quick, wristy action to swing for the ball
Controlling a moving ball Failing to stop or control the ball Holding the hurl at full length Shorten the grip by holding the hurl further down the handle with both hands
Not getting your body behind the ball


Make sure you are in a strong position with body behind the ball, and be on your toes
Hand pass Player seems to get little or no distance or accuracy when hand passing Player may be throwing the sliotar too high into the air Coach how to hand pass the ball off the other hand while it rests there.
Player’s arm may be pointing away from the intended target/ teammate Coach how to finish your arm pointing in the direction you want the sliotar to go to
Player may be striking the sliotar off their fingertips or palm of their hand Coach how to hand pass where your fingers and palm of your hand meet, for best accuracy
Solo Sliotar keeps falling off the players hurl Player is trying to solo holding the hurl at the end of the hurl Coach player to hold the hurl with dominant hand, half way up the hurl
Player is holding the hurl at an angle, sliotar keeps rolling off Player should be holding the hurl at parallel. Use a beanbag to grow confidence first if need
Frontal Ground Block Missing the ball, producing a weak tackle Not extending the dominant arm. The opponent’s hurl may slide up and injure the tackling player Extend the dominant arm fully, placing the hurl perpendicular to the ground
Hook Missing the hook tackle/ sliotar Attempting to Hook from the front take up position behind the opponent
Trying to do a timed flick Hold the hurl out on the path of the swing
Not striding into the tackle and extending the arm Take up position an appropriate distance behind the opponent
Frontal Block Missing the tackle Dropping the hurl below the striking hurl, the opponent’s

hurl may follow through and strike the blocking player

block down firmly on both the ball and the opponent’s hurl as the ball is about to be struck
The tackler getting hurl The holding the hurl with the

dominant hand at the top, the other hand half way up the hurl

Ensure both hands are held at the top of the hurl, so the tackler doesn’t get hurl















Skill Common Faults Common Causes Corrections & Adjustments


Football is kicked high into the air instead of over a distance. Player has his/her ‘toe up’ when kicking; i.e. using a ‘soft foot’


Player is leaning back as he/she kicks the ball.


Player is holding the ball too far from his/her body [long arms]

Coach the player the ‘toe down’ / ‘hard foot’ method of kicking


Coach how to watch the ball all the way down to the point where it strikes his/her foot [better balance]


Coach how to carry the ball closer and let it drop rather than throw it out.

Poorly directed kick – skews off target Player is kicking with the outside edge of his/her boot


Player’s standing foot is planted away from the target

Coach how to kick ‘off the laces’ and follow the kicking foot through towards the target [e.g. teammate or posts]


Coach how to plant the standing foot [non-kicking foot] directly at the target [e.g. a team-mate, the goals]

Overhead Catch


Player makes ground to catch the ball but always seems to reach and miss Arms too wide and ball drops through


Poor timing – player leans forward to catch with long arms

Coach the player how to ‘make the butterfly hands’ for the overhead catch.


Coach how to take an extra step towards the flight of the ball – stops player having to lean forward for the catch

Player tends to pat the ball down rather than attempt an overhead catch Player is keen to take the ‘sting’ out of a ball in flight. Coach how to make the ‘W’ shape with fingers of two hands and practise with a lobbed ball first.

Soft Hands

Crouch Lift Player slows up and appears awkward or unsure when approaching the ball Player shortens stride in an attempt to get feet in the right position for the lift.




Coach player how to make the last stride into the ball a long one. This will help maintain speed and give a solid base from which to drive off.


Player gets in position but misses the first attempt at the lift. Hands are too far apart or by the side of the ball. Coach how to reach in front of the ball and make a scoop with hands tight together and fingers spread.


Solo Run


Player drops ball to foot but kicks it ahead rather than back to hand Player is using a ‘hard foot’ to kick the ball – toe down method

Player is holding the ball too far from his/her body

Coach the player how to kick with a ‘soft foot’ – toe pointed up.

Coach the player to hold the ball closer to body [a bent elbow helps]

Player seems to skip or hop when toe tapping on the move Check to see if the player is throwing the ball into the air and waiting for it to drop to his/her foot.

Player may be trying to return the ball from foot to hand by bending the knee and hopping to help his/her kicking foot reach the ball

Coach how to let the ball roll off the fingers to the foot. Controlling it will then be easier.


Coach how to keep the kicking leg straight as it strikes the ball [locked knee, no bend].

Hand Pass Player seems to get little or no distance or accuracy when attempting the fist pass or fisted score Check the football size and weight?

Player may be striking the ball off his/her fingers or knuckles.

Player may be swinging his arm in a ‘roundhouse’ fashion.

Player may be throwing the ball into the air before striking it.

Use Size 2 for U6, Size 3 for U8 and Size 4 for U10 players.

Coach how to fist using the fleshy part of the fist at the base of the thumb and near the wrist.

Coach how to swing arm close to side of body and through the ball.


Coach how to fist the ball off the other hand while it rests there.

Block Down Player shying away from contact Player may be afraid of getting injured


Coach how to stand in close to the kicker and to approach from the side
Missing the ball as it passes though the outstretched arms  

Hands are too far apart


Coach how to reach forward with the hands together and eyes on the ball

Tackling Tackling opponent from behind Player may be unsure of body position before making the tackle Coach how to move alongside opponent and keep eyes focussed on the ball
Tackling with the outside hand Easier for the player to slap the ball from opponent, giving away a free Coach how to flick the ball away with the near hand when the opponents far leg is forward
Body Catch Leaning backwards as the ball approaches Player waiting stationary for the ball


Coach moving forward to receive the ball


Ball bouncing off the chest Players elbows and arms are too far apart Coach extending the arms in front of the chest with elbows close together and palms facing up

Spot and Fix Section