The biggest ever coaching survey conducted in Irish sport will see the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association join forces to help shape the future development of Gaelic games.
Over the next three weeks coaches at every level of football, hurling and camogie are being encouraged and urged to make their voices heard via the online survey. Details for the survey are available from
The Gaelic games Coach Survey 2020 is a unique opportunity for coaches to provide an insight into their role, and their needs. It is the first time that such an approach has been taken across the entire Gaelic games community.
Targeting more than 10,000 responses, it makes it one of the most comprehensive coaching studies ever undertaken.
Coaches that complete the survey will be offered the chance to take part in a draw, whereby three respondents will win Coaching Master Class sessions. The Coaching Master Class will involve a coaching session for the winning coaches’ own team, and a coaching workshop for all of the coaches within their Club.
GAA Coach Education Officer, Dr Peter Horgan said:
“Coaches play an extremely important role in Gaelic games. They provide support and guidance for their teams and players, and none more so than in the current suspension of activities. Within the GAA we have tried to support coaches to play their role with resources and educational programmes.
“To further that support, each of the Gaelic games associations have come together and developed a programme of research to investigate coaching practices and coach education. We are interested in feedback from coaches on their coaching experience, their coaching practice and how coaches see coaching into the future. We are also very interested in coaches’ experience of coach education, and what coaches feel are their own learning needs.
“The online survey will be available over the next three weeks, and I would encourage all coaches – regardless of your level of experience or whether you coach at club, school, or county levels – to provide their feedback.
“This will allow us to better understand the coach within Gaelic games and for us to plan for the types of supports that we will be providing into the future. The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous, and confidential.”
Uachtarán CLG John Horan said: “We are living in a time of unprecedented popularity for Gaelic games. We have record numbers of teams playing and young people attending our camps and enjoying our games.
“With that success comes a responsibility to ensure that coach development is helping us to maximise our potential. We have a network of excellent coaching and games development staff operating across every county, and this helps to support the army of volunteer coaches and mentors who play such an invaluable role at club level.
“Coaches pass on a love of our games. They are instrumental at enabling players perform at their best and this survey is an opportunity to ensure that coach education and development is meeting their needs and continuing to produce the exceptionally talented players that we see across club and county level.”
President of the Camogie Association, Kathleen Woods, welcomed the announcement, saying: “We are delighted to support this important research which will give us a great insight into the world of our wonderful coaches throughout the Gaelic Games family.
“Coaching is a vocation to many volunteers and they provide expertise, support, enthusiasm and guidance to players within our games at all ages and levels of the game, to enable players to enjoy our games as much as possible and to reach their full potential.
“Coaches are a vital part of our Association and I look forward to seeing the results of this great initiative so we can further improve our relationship with this key group of volunteers.”
LGFA President Marie Hickey commented: “We are incredibly proud of the role that coaches play within our organisation, as they hone the skills of players at all levels from underage right through to senior.
“We have a network of coaches dotted across the country and overseas, who are doing some brilliant work on behalf of the LGFA. We are also working tirelessly to encourage more and more of our past players to get involved in coaching, and to take their first steps on our Coach Education pathway.
“It is imperative that our coaches are equipped with the tools which will allow them to develop our sport.
“Coaching is a multi-faceted discipline, with key skills and qualities required to fulfil the role. In that regard, research that explores best practice and education should be welcomed and embraced.
“I would encourage as many of our coaches as possible to engage with the survey, and your feedback will prove invaluable. I look forward to the results that emerge from what is sure to be a substantial body of work.”
The survey is also interested in feedback from any coaches that have dropped out of coaching, to help us understand why they are no longer coaching, and whether there are steps that can put in place to encourage these people back into coaching.
- What are we doing?
Coach development has become an area that each of the Gaelic games Associations across the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Associations have targeted to work closer together on. Over the last 12 months we have been developing a new Introduction to Coaching Gaelic games award that will operate across all of the codes, and our coach education webinars taking place over the last two months have been hugely successful. In order for us to continue that development, it is important that we are building our programmes on solid information on the role and experiences of coaches within our games.
To help us to do that, we have developed a Gaelic games coach survey for 2020. This survey will look at all of our coaches’ experience, their practice and how coaches see coaching into the future. We are also very interested in coaches’ experience of coach education, and what coaches feel are their own learning needs. Those people that have dropped out of coaching are also part of this survey, to help us understand why they are no longer coaching, and whether there is anything that we can put in place to encourage them back into coaching.
Historically, we have not undertaken this type of task, and it is a mammoth undertaking.
- Why are we doing it this way?
We wanted to build a coach survey that was easy for coaches to feedback into. So, this survey will take place online. It is a simple form that asks for feedback about your coaching practice and your coach education. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete, and is completely anonymous, and confidential.
- Who is involved?
This survey is across all of the Gaelic games Associations. So, if you are a coach of Camogie, Hurling, Handball, Gaelic football, Ladies Gaelic football, or Rounders your feedback is important. Equally, we are interested in the full breadth of coaches, so it’s not a case of getting one coach from a club to respond, the experience of each coach, regardless of your background or how long you have been coaching is important.
- What will happen?
Once we have completed the survey we will be looking to speak to some coaches about the results that we find, so we will organise some focus groups to help us to understand more about what it is that we can do to support coaches into the future. Taking part in those groups is completely voluntary, and again all of the information that any coach will provide is confidential.
As a result of this survey we be able to build a profile of the different types of coaches that we have across Gaelic games and understand their needs. The reports that we produce will be made available to every code and County, and because every response is anonymous, coaches can be as honest as possible. This is important as it will allow us to build a really accurate profile of coaching across Gaelic games.
- How do I access the survey?
The survey is available online, so you can access the survey through GAA.ie, Camogie.ie and LGFA.ie as well as the GAA Learning site – learning.gaa.ie. The survey will also be sent to each club secretary for circulation amongst the coaches within the club. If you have attended a coaching course previously, we will email the survey to you. If any coach wishes to receive the survey directly, they can do so by emailing [email protected]
Details for the survey are available from
Editors, for more information:
The Gaelic Games Coach Survey 2020 advisory group is composed of representatives of coaches and researchers who work in this area. If you wish to speak to any of the individuals concerned, contact:
- Dr Peter Horgan, GAA Education Officer (086 0829570, [email protected])
- GAA Education officer, responsible for the development and implementation of GAA coach development programmes
- Leads the Gaelic Games Coach Survey advisory group
- William Harmon, LGFA, National Development Officer (087 979 4955, [email protected])
- Responsible for coach development within the LGFA
- Former Kerry minor and U. 21 player, William has coached South Kerry, Laois Senior Footballers and is currently coach to Kerins O’Rahillys
- Niall Williams Coach Education and Development Coordinator (087-6235855, [email protected])
- Responsible for coach development in Camogie
- Niall has coached Hurling and Camogie at all levels including Meath Senior Hurlers, Kilkenny Senior Camogie team
- Dr Áine MacNamara, Dublin City University ([email protected])
- Áine is an Associate Professor in Elite Performance at Dublin City University.
- Her main research interest is in Talent Development and Coach Development and she has published widely including over 45 peer-review journals, 15 book chapters and technical reports, and two books.
- Dr John Considine, University College Cork ([email protected])
- Lecturer in Economics at UCC, John was a member of the advisory group for the GAA/GPA study of Playing Senior Inter County Gaelic Games: Experience, Realities and Consequences
- Dr Paul Donnelly, Regeneration Manager, Antrim GAA (+ 44 7837 419976, [email protected])
- Appointed as Regeneration Manager in Antrim in 2019, Paul was previously Head of Policy, Planning and Research at SportNI.
- A former Antrim Senior Hurler, Paul has coached Antrim underage sides for the last several years
- Dr Richard Bowles, Mary Immaculate College of Education, Limerick ([email protected])
- Lecturer in Physical Education at Mary Immaculate College of Education, Richard is a former Limerick Senior Footballer
- Richard is a well-known coach, especially in Ladies Football circles – where he has coached amongst others, Galway Senior Footballers
- Dr Seamus Kelly, University College Dublin ([email protected])
- Seamus Kelly is the Head of Sports Studies at UCD. A former Inter County footballer with Offaly, and professional soccer player with UCD and Cardiff City
- Seamus has consulted with a number of National Governing Bodies (GAA, FAI) and professional football clubs in the UK and Ireland on the application of many aspects of his research.
- Prof Bryan McCullick, University of Georgia ([email protected])
- Bryan is one of the foremost PE Teacher Educators in the US.
- In 2008, he was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Sports Studies and Physical Education at University College, Cork (UCC), IRE where he was an Adjunct Professor in the College of Arts and Celtic Studies from 2010-19.
- He served as a Fulbright Specialist Scholar in 2012 with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). This was the first time that a non-academic institution was successful in applying for such a role. His work at this time has underpinned much of the development of coach education in the intervening period.