Coaching Course Report - Brussels

On the 27th August, the first FUNdamentals coaching course was held in Brussels organised in partnership with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA), the European County Board (ECB) and the Belgium GAA Club.

The development of Ladies Gaelic Football in mainland Europe needs a combined strategy of different actions (support for ladies teams, players, referees, coaches, etc.) aimed to spread the virtues of the sport. One of the key points to strengthen the presence of Ladies Gaelic Football in Europe is the formation of coaches who can transmit and stimulate players in the values and the spirit of the game.

13 fully involved participants attended the course, coming from several ladies teams in mainland Europe: Belgium GAA, Munich Colmcilles, Holland ladies and Barcelona Gaelettes. The tutor of the course, Erica Flannagan, orientated the course according to the characteristics of the European ladies teams, focusing the mix of theory and practical elements in how to coach adult ladies teams.


Some of the participants of the coaching course.

The FUNdamentals course comprised of several unit (Good Coaching Practice, ABC’s of Gaelic Football, Coaching a Session, etc.). The participants had a look at issues such as planning and implementing training programmes as well as practical coaching and an introduction to the player pathway.

Participants worked in groups of twos and threes on the tasks included in the FUNdametnals Coaching Booklet and put the skills learned into practice in the afternoon session in which every group had to organise two drills using the given materials (reaction balls, ladders, cones, bibs, etc.). Every drill was explained and demonstrated to the other participants, who had to take part in drills, as if it were a training session.


Some of the participants of the coaching course and the tutor.

By using the unit’s tasks in the Coaching Booklet, the participants shared their experiences regarding coaching in mainland Europe (bear in mind all of them come from different size ladies’ teams; from big squads to small ones). With the help of the tutor and according to the experiences shared in the group, some of the challenges people meet coaching in mainland European were shared; the first one, ability vs. the commitment, who plays?: the talented player who doesn’t come to training or the player less talented who attends training. The second challenge, for the European coaches is how to organise a coaching session bearing in mind the different levels of players, as every year the European ladies teams have local and Irish ladies who have never played before. One solution was organising a specific evening for the beginners, or maybe the beginners could arrive to training before the main session; any option chosen has to allow a gradual integration to the skills and the group. Another challenge discussed was how to organise a training session for small numbers.

The tutor underlined the importance of having a club management objectives’ for the year (short and long term objectives) and, if possible, to having two coaches.

It’d be great to set up a blog for the tutor and the participants of the course which would follow up on the skills delivered in the coaching session.


The props ready to be used by the participants of the coaching course.


The tutor explaining the skills for a good coaching.


The semi circle formed by the participants.


One group is explaining to the rest of the participants the drill they wanted to implement in the coaching session.


Another group explaining one of their drills to rest of the people.

A huge thank you for the constant support of the LGFA and the ECB to the development of ladies gaelic football in Europe. Also, thanks a million to Erica Flanagan, the tutor, and Belgium GAA (especially Sinead Fitzsimons), for hosting the event and for their commitment and enthusiasm.

Mònica Duran

European Ladies Officer 2011

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