Becoming a Coach

A Coach is a person who assists and challenges players to achieve their full potential.

The coach plays a central role in the development of the GAA player. The challenge for the coach is to create the right conditions for learning to happen and to empower the player to develop him/herself to reach their potential.


The roles that a Coach undertakes are many and varied. In many ways, it is much more than just teaching the techniques and tactics associated with Gaelic games. Throughout the sporting year, a Coach may be called upon to be an advisor, assessor, chauffeur, demonstrator, friend, fact finder, fountain of knowledge, mentor, motivator, organiser, planner and supporter. Here is a brief summary of some of the roles a Coach may undertake:

  • Analyser and Advisor – Analysing a player’s performance in training and games and advising on the needs to improve an area of their game, providing appropriate drills and games.
  • Chauffeur – Transporting them to training or games if parents or family are unavailable to take them.
  • Demonstrator – The ability to demonstrate the skill that you want the players to perform is not always necessary. You do not need to have played Gaelic games to become a Coach. Good Coaches have the ability to communicate to players how to perform the skill
  • Friend – Over the years of working with a team and individual players a personal relationship is built up where as well as providing coaching advice you also become someone who they can discuss their problems or share their success with. The Coach must keep personal information confidential otherwise the respect the player had for you as a friend and Coach will be lost.
  • Factfinder – Gathering information on your own players and opponents and keeping up to date with current training techniques.
  • Fountain of Knowledge – A Coach will often be asked questions on diet, different types of training, sports injuries and topics often unrelated to Gaelic games.
  • Leader – Have a vision of what needs to be done, in each session, and throughout the year. The good Coach is firm, fair and flexible, and prepared to learn as well as coach.
  • Mentor – Any players attending training sessions are under your care, with the responsibility to their parents and family for ensuring that they are safe and secure. It is important to get prior information on any health issues they may have, and ensure that the training/playing area is as safe as possible. A good Coach should also support players should they have any problems or sustain any injuries.
  • Motivator – Maintain the motivation of individuals and of the team during the year.
  • Organiser and planner – Preparation of training plans for each player, developing team play and outlining tactics. This role incorporates the ability to organise training and games to suit players, other Coaches and the Club/School as a whole.
  • Supporter – Competition can be a nerve-racking experience for some players, especially the young player. Often they like the Coach to be around to help support them through the pressures.


There are several requirements for anybody working with children in a GAA Club, this includes Coaches, Mentors, Referees and Committee Members from the Executive Committee down. These requirements have been set by law and by the Dublin County Board. As a club, we will endeavour to meet those requirements and to provide all the necessary training to our Coaches or Mentors associated with our teams.

Each year the Lead Mentor must supply the Coaching Officer with a full list of their proposed Mentors, including phone and email contact details. The O’Dwyers Club Executive then ratifies the mentors who will be involved in working with our juvenile teams. This includes ensuring that

  1. All Coaches and Mentors must be members of the GAA.
  2. All Coaches and Mentors are Garda Vetted.
  3. All Coaches and Mentors must complete a Child Welfare and Protection course.
  4. All Coaches and Mentors must complete GAA Foundation Course

All mentors must be vetted by the Gardai without exception.

Please liaise directly with the Clubs Coaching Officer for help and support on the above



  1. We do not use abusive language towards ANYONE.
  2. We do our very best to give as many players as much game time as we can so that they get an opportunity to develop their skills and to play their sport.
  3. We allow players to make decisions for themselves on the pitch and do not try to coach them through every play, all coaches should not be shouting in instructions to all players.
  4. Coaches give clear instructions to players with no mixed messages.


  1. We prepare our training sessions to the best of our ability to be enjoyable and age-appropriate. Session content should reflect the guidelines in the O’Dwyers Coaching booklet.
  2. We strive to address all four quadrants of the demands of our games in each session.
  3. We do not let a team become over-reliant on one person. During the season all coaches are involved in training sessions. Lead coaches will delegate so all coaches get to coach.


  1. We are all members of the club, driving it forward. We all think “club” in all that we do
  2. We are all Garda Vetted and have completed the required coach education and child protection courses.
  3. We uphold the club facilities and equipment guidelines.
  4. We value the knowledge and experience of other coaches and are open to collaboration between different teams.
  5. We organise our management teams in a specific manner so that one team is not over-reliant on a single individual and more people get an opportunity to develop coaching and managing skills.
  6. We encourage our teams and their families to get involved in O’Dwyers activities outside of our team activities.
  7. We recognise that team fundraising is done through the structures of a fundraising committee rather than everyone doing their own thing every year.