THE Carbery GAA coaching workshop held in Ahamilla, Clonakilty, recently proved a huge success, with a large gathering of aspiring coaches present for the initiative.
Cork County Board secretary/CEO Kevin O’Donovan opened proceedings, while renowned coaches and specialists Dr Ed Coughlan and former Cork senior hurling star Kevin Murray give detailed presentations.
Kevin, who coaches an array of teams across many sporting disciplines, including the UCC footballers and the Rebel camogie team, was delighted with the workshop.
“It went great. Numbers were big. Feedback was positive. The coaches were very engaged and it was a great success. It was a good initiative by Rebel Óg and the Carbery Board,” he said.
Murray was thrilled to pass on his coaching knowledge and expertise to aspiring coaches from throughout the Carbery Division.
“I was delighted to have been asked. Being from West Cork, I love any opportunity to get home,” he said.
“It is great to pass on my experience. I think all coaches are delighted to meet up with fellow coaches, engage in dialogue, and source fresh information and tips.
“The workshops present them with the ideal opportunity to meet up and gather new methods and techniques. They will have picked up bits and pieces from the event and hopefully they will take that back to their clubs.”
The former All-Ireland hurling champion, who hurled with St Finbarr’s and played football with Dohenys, enjoys a strong reputation as one of the brightest coaches in sports throughout the country.
Following a successful club and county career, Murray has enjoyed an equally successful coaching tenure with a host of teams in a range of sporting codes.
His coaching knowledge and expertise are very much in demand. He focused on a series of themes during his visit to Clonakilty.
“My presentation was based on three things. One was, what a learning environment could look like, and within that learning environment, how do we operate?
“I also focused on skill and technique and what the differences are between both of them. The last bit of my presentation was on how we implement skill and technique during a game.
“I did took a practical session with a Clonakilty U14 team which went well. The big thing I tried to get across to all the coaches was to react to the situation which arises during a training session.
“It is important to leave sessions grow organically and not to get too rigid with regards cones and timing of a particular drill.
“It is important to have a context which shapes the content of a session. A coach has to have patience.
“We all make mistakes and it is important they continue to grow into their roles and environment. There are many days you will fail, but that allows you to reflect accordingly.”
He welcomed the appointment of O’Donovan Rossa senior footballer Paudie Crowley to his new role with the Carbery Board as the first games promotion officer in the division.
“He has a very good way about him. He is especially good with dealing with children,” he said. “He is a very positive guy and he is a good communicator. He is also very patient and he is very progressive in his learning.
“It is a great appointment and a very progressive move by the board. It is a long-term investment. He has a big role ahead.
“He loves coaching. He is very enthusiastic. He will have to manage his workload as he has a big area to cover. He will do well.
“James McCarthy will be a big help to him. All the GDA officers in the county are doing great work.
“They have demanding jobs. They invest so much time and energy into their work.”
As well as coaching Cork and UCC, Murray is also involved in both tennis and hockey coaching. He loves all the challenges the various sports bring.
“I have been very fortunate that all the sports have been so open to new ideas and welcoming to me. It is basically the same principles in all sports.
“I have loved exploring the various sports and picking up new information from the new sporting disciplines.
“The coaches in both tennis and hockey have all been so open-minded. They pick up stuff from me and it works both ways.
“Working in the different sports has been a huge benefit in my development. It is important to realise you are coaching people and you have to find out about the person you are coaching.
“It is important to look closely at the people you are working with. You have to understand them, establish a trust and connect with them.”
He played a key role behind the scenes with the UCC football team that won the Sigerson Cup once again this year. He loves working with the talented players and their experienced manager Billy Morgan.
“They were great to work with. They played great football, but they are so driven and hungry for success. They enjoyed a great year; they were unbeaten in both the league and championship, which is a great achievement.
“Billy is a legend. He commands so much respect.
“He has massive trust from the players. He has a special way of dealing with players.
“He creates a very positive environment which the players love. He is a great communicator and his man-management skills are brilliant.”