This Player Pathway is to serve as a guide to mentors, parents and players as to what they should be doing at a particular time in their playing careers. First and foremost, the Player Pathway is designed with player welfare at the heart of the plan. It is intended as an aid to assist coaches and parents concerned with ensuring we are providing the maximum enjoyment and stimulation for our players at the various stages in their hurling career. We hope that it will provide assistance to all in ensuring the development of players to reach their full potential from their first steps into the Academy and up to the adult teams of the club and beyond.
It is important to note that there is no end to our journey as coaches. It is a continuous progression. The pathway laid out in this document may seem like a linear progression but it is the same as everything in life, there will be ups and downs. It is vital to remind ourselves that we are developing young players who all develop at different rates. As all top coaches in sport will attest to, to continue to improve as a coach you need to adapt and never stop learning. So for the experienced coaches out there reading this document, it might highlight and reaffirm aspects of their coaching they are doing right, but it may also refresh their knowledge or improve certain aspects.
Each section is covered separately and contains guidelines and ideas for players at each level. Each individual player will develop at a different rate, mentally and physically. Consequently, the same applies to teams. It is important to remember that children are not mini adults and should be treated with respect. Patience and perseverance is key. Try to concentrate on ‘your’ team’s development. Your team may not develop as the team that precedes it. We are concerned with the long term development of each and every player to reach their own maximum potential. This will take time, so patience is required.
We hope that this booklet will help guide you, as you continue to promote and develop hurling with whatever team / age group that you are working with. Encourage your players / children to bring their hurls with them at all opportunities, be it visiting relatives or friends, going to the park or bringing in the cows!
Finally, this Player Pathway is not restricted to the performance or enhancement of the county scene. The club scene is of paramount importance to everything we do and without it there would be no activity at county level. For us to get things right we must build from the bottom up. We all know the real work starts in and on the club field, so let the fun and learning continue for years to come.