Declan Bogue: Caulfield offering shows that talking tactics can bridge generation gap
Talking tactics in football or hurling with any follower of Gaelic games is a tricky subject. Chances are that if they are over 60, they will not want to know the finer nuances of the blanket defence, the withdrawn corner-forward or pushing up on a sweeper.
The development of football over the past couple of years, indeed the astonishing evolution of a field game and how it is played, leads to the belief that at a certain level, the game is won or lost by what gameplan a manager can devise, coach and deliver, and how the team can perform it under pressure.
‘Tactics Not Passion', the book by author Emmet Ryan late last year took readers through a season, explaining not only why teams win a game, but how they won by tagging the movement, positioning and flow of players around the pitch.
Aspiring coaches will have lapped it up. Be warned, there will be a wave of coaches coming shortly who will spend hours trying to convey a gameplan to their team, only to be met with a row of blank faces.
That's because when it comes to strategy, the most effective means of getting it through to footballers is through playing on grass, not sitting in meetings.
There is a school of thought out there at the minute that would hold that training drills
are a waste of time. The thinking is that two teams in black and amber — Crossmaglen and Kilkenny — just go out and play games during their training sessions.
That approach alone, does not gobble up All-Ireland titles though. There is an enormous amount of work on the subtleties of the games during their sessions.
Shane Caulfield is the author of a new, pocket-sized book; ‘Games and drills for Fundamental Development.' The Scotstown native has coached a variety of sports in different countries, and he has done every aspiring coach a massive favour by producing a document that not only catalogues training drills, but explains the reasoning behind each one of them.
A publication like this is important, from every level up to the best team in the land. Just as Tony McEntee, who states at the back of this book, 'This book... provides an almost endless variation to thought-provoking drills and an explanation as to why you use them.”
And if it's good enough for Tony, it's good enough for the rest of us