New DSS Hurling Coach Barry Mullane – An Intro

By Barry Mullane – MSc Sports Coaching

Hi everyone, my name is Barry Mullane. I am delighted to be coming onboard with Deely Sport Science as a Coach with responsibility for the Hurling side of the business. I will be writing blogs here, posting Hurling session plans and games in the new Hurling Practices page, getting involved in Hurling discussions both on the DSS WhatsApp group and on our Social Media channels, and when this CoVid-19 emergency finishes, I’ll be putting up videos of Hurling games and training on the Practices page also. But more about that later.

I’ve been coaching hurling for many years, since my days as a student in Waterford Institute of Technology and for nearly 12 years, as a GAA development officer with Dublin GAA. I have coached Dublin development squads for over 6 years, St Maurs in Dublin, my own club in Dublin, Fingallians and The DCU Ashbourne cup Camogie team.

I have also been a coach developer and educator for many of those years. Recently I have moved back home to Tipperary to set up my own coaching business; Active Sports Coaching along with my friend @barryburke. We coach fundamental movement skills through fun games and a multisport approach along with providing a coach education service for sports club.

During my time in Dublin, I completed A Masters degree in Sports coaching at the University of Birmingham. This experience changed me as a coach and I developed my coaching philosophy as a result. Those of you who follow me on twitter will know that I’m a fan of games based coaching. I would some up my coaching philosophy in three points

  • Every pass must have a thought
  • Use and receive the ball under pressure
  • Repetition without repetition

I have recently finished reading Dennis Bergkamp’s autobiography, as well as stating that ‘every pass must have a thought’ he also believes that the best players know what to do in each situation they find themselves in’. To develop this kind of player, Coaches will need to be mindful of the conditions of their sport and ask themselves the question, are their training conditions matching these? To further illustrate the conditions of your sport, Dave Alred’s match environment matrix is a useful guide

Ask yourself the question, where does hurling fit into the matrix? Does your training prepare your players for their performance environment?

While I am a believer in a games-based approach to coaching, I believe in skill development or drills. However, Drills and skill development exercises must replicate the demands of the game. That includes striking, rising, tackling, hooking, blocking and wall ball. Soon I will be posting up games-based activities using Tactical Pad and hopefully, when Covid-19 is behind us, I will be posting videos of the game and session plans

I’ll leave you with this quote from Gabbett, Jenkins and Abernethy (2009):

‘Realistic improvements in fitness and performance happen when sessions stimulate the physiological and technical demands of competition.’

Talk soon



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