This book is my effort at having an influence on the lives of volunteer sports child coaches and children in sport. I am just an ‘ordinary’ coach if such a thing exists. I haven’t coached world champions or superstars. This is a book for coaches who want to make a positive difference to the lives of children, enjoy their coaching and develop as a coach. It is my hope that the book will inspire and assist volunteer child coaches to gain a fuller perspective on their role, realise its vast potential, educate themselves and practice, self- improvement, learning and excellence in coaching children. This is fundamentally a book about learning and practice. For me, continuous learning is the job, and indeed the art, of coaching. To survive and thrive, the coach must continue to learn.
I’ve been involved in coaching all my adult life. Hurling is my first love, but I have coached many other sports and physical activities. I am also a Primary School Teacher by profession for 13 years now. I see coaching and teaching as one and the same, and gleam much of my knowledge, insights and beliefs from both. What I learn in coaching I use in the classroom, and what I learn in the classroom I use in my coaching. In reality, coaching and teaching are one.
I enjoy observing, and assisting, improvement and learning. I am also intrigued by the power and potential of the collective. I believe in the power of common sense. I enjoy and gain much from science and research but generally come to my own conclusions. Fads come and go and the latest trend will bring up new concepts but the basics will always be the basics and mastering these will always lead to better performance both in playing and coaching. All too often I see coaches looking outward when they may be much better served looking inwards.
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
Bruce Lee- Martial Artist