| St Brigids GAA Club
Serving Blanchardstown & Castleknock
Coaching Course A First Step Towards Better Future.
By Thomas Broderick B.Sc (Sport & Exercise Science)
This coaching programme will further the knowledge of the current mentors of St Brigid's and is already being put into action. Last week a Football and Hurling/Camogie Foundation course was held in Russell Park, producing 25 new foundation level coaches at the club. These coaches will bring a new direction to the current underage coaching policy in the club. This policy will emphasise FUN, as the main ingredient to any training session.
It was clear from the course that this is the one important ingredient necessary for every training session, P.E lesson, and any physical activity. If our children have a positive experience they will continue to come to play our games. In a positive environment children will develop the fundamental movement patterns such as throwing, jumping, running and kicking more efficiently and effectively. However, they will also improve their social and moral development, meet new friends and improve their health and well being.
Current changing trends in society suggest that we are spending less and less time with our children. Coaches and mentors in various clubs and societies therefore have a greater responsibility in the development of our children. We aim to ensure that the coaches' working with your children have the necessary qualifications and knowledge to allow maximum development in a positive environment. In his book Positive Coaching, Jim Thompson describes the concept of 'relentless positivity', no matter what the situation is we must remain positive at all times. If we criticise a child, we must compliment them 7 times before they regain their confidence. Simple concepts like this will allow coaches, mentors and you as parents to ensure that St Brigid's GAA club is a better playing and social experience for all involved.
The next step in the coaching programme will be the certification of a number of coaches with the Level 1 Football and Hurling coaching badges. These courses are run by the County Board and are starting on the 4th of October. This will further increase the number of experienced coaches working in St Brigid's G.A.A.
To continue the education of mentors and coaches the club coaches will also be presenting seminars on topics such as, the importance of diet and fluid in sport and the importance of exercise for general well being. The club's nursery, which is held in Beechpark Avenue in Castleknock every Saturday at 10AM, is an excellent starting point to introduce your children to the idea of sport in a fun and enjoyable atmosphere
It is now well acknowledged that exercise plays a major role in the well being of our children. The latest health report released on Monday 20th September 2004 indicated the ever-increasing levels of child obesity in Ireland. This report suggests that overweight children have a 70% more chance of developing obesity then their lighter classmates. At recent information night for team mentors in Brigid's the club coaches discussed a seminar they had attended in Galway last year. The presenter, Dr Avery Faigenbaum, a leading researcher and practitioner in the field of youth health and fitness in the U.S described the programme he runs after school in which he works with children aged between 10 and 15.
He explained to the audience that he works with 12-year-old children who weight up to 20 stone. Through exercise and diet modification he has reduced the weight of the majority of the participants. Dr Avery Faigenbaum believes that if we can make exercise more fun through games we will reduce child obesity and increase the health and well being of our children. The club coaches hope to follow Dr Faigenbaums advice and have indicated that there main priority for this year is to get more children active. They are currently working in many of the local primary schools were they are targeting 1st class and 2nd class pupils, where they hope to promote exercise through fun games and Gaelic games.
St Brigid's G.A.A. has taken the first steps to ensure an ever improving environment were children can strive to learn and develop. We all need to work together as a community to increase the amount of exercise we and are children are getting. If your child is involved with a club you as a parent/guardian should be involved also. We all expect high standards from the many clubs and societies in the Dublin 15 area. However, how can we expect this high standard if we routinely drop our children off at the club and go home. The next time you drop your child off at a club ask yourself is there anything you could do to help. St Brigid's G.A.A aims to make the club a more enjoyable and positive place to be. Together, parents, educators and mentors we can work as a team so that our children will be the best they can be and not become just another problem for the health system to deal with.
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