Down Forum

Colm O'Rourke and Development Squads. Jim Kiltys tale on it.

(Oldest Posts First)

This excerpt below is from a lad Jim Kilty in relation to development squads and hits on a number of issues I've been trying to point out I think are fundamentally wrong with their concept. This is not a slight on those who volunteer to coach in them, but is there a better way in the long term is the question that needs asked;

DEVELOPMENT SQUADS
Last Sunday's Independent had a very interesting article by Colm O'Rourke on County Development Squads (and there are many names givien to such squads) and should start a real debate on the issue for football, hurling, camogie and ladies football in every county.
I totally agree with Colm that selective numbers of 25 or 30 players in a county at 14 years of age is a totally wrong approach because there is no proof that those 30 will still be playing the sport by the time they reach 20 years of age. There is also every chance that many of those who were not selected will be coming into their prime at 20.
The numbers at under 14 should be large - 30 from 4 different sections or areas of the county would be a much better approach. At least the net is thrown wide and provides a wider opportunity to ensure development of the players the county needs later in their careers.
However that is where my view of what is needed differs from Colm's.
Under 14 development should mean what it says. It should imply that the player is being developed. It does not mean that the young player just plays games and that is what most of these squads do - play games. Do they not play enough games with their schools, their clubs etc.
Player development is a much deeper concept or at least it should be. Player development should be general and all embracing:
a) develop the athletic ability of the players through the development of coordination, leg strength and speed and agility - ensure that the young person becomes an athlete first, then a player.
b) develop the general skills of the player by ensuring he or she has excellent motor skills and excellent functional skills - so that the player can move efficiently and effectively on the field.
c) develop the sport specific skills of the player to the highest possible level.
d) developing game skills should be the least issue at a young age.
Games are designed for young people to have fun. In games they get a chance to use their speed, their sports skills, their motor skills etc to play the game, compete for and use the ball and enjoy themselves. Games are not the vehicle to coach skills. They are where young player expresses and uses the skill the coache have taught them.
Development squads my arse. There is about as much development being coaches in development squad training as there is snow on the beaches of Abu Dhabi.

bricktop (Down) - 29/11/2017 12:33:20    2063990

Link