The GAA Strategic Vision and Action Plan 2009-2015 identified the immediate need to prioritise and support the development of players and coaches as key to the long-term success and health of Gaelic Games.

To create a coaching system which produces and supports the development of coaches and players, the GAA has developed a model of Coach Education has been reformatted to take account of the different playing capacities that exist between children (up to 12 years), youths (age 13 – 18) and adults (age 19+), and the competencies that a coach is required to display when working with each of the playing populations. These streams have been identified to cater for the diverse needs of children, of youths and of adults.

Quality Coaching – as part of an overall Games Development Plan – promotes fair play, builds social cohesion, self-esteem, and enhances health and well-being as well as supporting social and economic objectives.

Coaches should be committed to creating fun, safe playing environments for all of our players, regardless of age or ability level. To safeguard our players, coaches abide by the GAA Code of Conduct, have completed the GAA/ISC Child Protection in Sport Awareness Workshop and are vetted by An Garda Síochána/ Access NI.


Structure of the Coach Education Programme

The Coach Education Programme focuses on continuing education, so that coaches can improve by means of a series of specifically designed courses, workshops and conferences incorporating internationally recognised principles of best practice. These opportunities will include a combination of theoretical and practical inputs and allow for the use of digital and e-learning techniques.

The programme of Applied Lifelong Learning makes provision for coaches to continually develop their skills and to progress at a rate suited to their own development.



The coach has a central role in the development of the GAA player. Coaches assist players in developing to their potential – whatever that maybe. 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.

This section will cover topics for a range of people – from those who would like to become a coach to experienced coaches who are looking to develop their coaching and sports science knowledge.

Coaching information is provided for coaches of children, youths and adults. This is to recognise the many differences that coaches are faced with when coaching each of these age and development stages. Much of the information on the art of coaching will apply across the three stages, but differences in technical, tactical and team play development as well as physical and psychological areas are dealt with according to the stage of development.

Information is also provided on the GAA Coach Education Programme. For details of upcoming courses around the country visit the GAA Coach Education Programme website.