Farrell’s Workshop shows Leinster value on Coach Development
November 16, 2023 4:30 pm Des Berry
On Monday, 6 November, Leinster’s Kicking Coach and Head Analyst Emmet Farrell produced a kicking workshop, focusing on technical and tactical kicking, for the Metro branch of Leinster Rugby.
“Emmet looked at how to implement kicking in-game and training environments and how to coach both the technical and tactical kicking aspects of the game,” says Leinster Coach and Player Development Officer Damien McCabe.
“It was all carried out through presentation and video at Energia Park. It lasted for 80 minutes followed by a Questions and Answers session.
“Emmet introduced how Leinster would scout opposition around opportunities to employ their kicking game.
“He spoke about strategies on exits, on restarts, what areas are best to kick into and why as well as the benefit of left and right-footed kickers.
“He spoke about designing plays to manipulate the opposition through the kicking game,” adds Damien (pictured below).
“From a technical perspective, videos were shown on how to coach the different types of kick, such as box kick, place kick, drop kick, punt kick.
“He also showed video clips to the group of exercises he would do to perfect technique and details he looks for when coaching kickers”.
It sounds like a rare insight into the knowledge of Farrell, a bedrock of Leinster’s management team since 2003.
The affable ex-Leinster and Ireland Schools and Ireland U21 out-half played the position professionally for West Hartlepool in the Premiership.
“There is no charge. We put them on in the hope that the coaches will come,” shares Damien.
“All coaches have to do is register through the online portals that are widely advertised on the IRFU and Leinster Rugby websites and through various branches of social media”.
It is also part and parcel of a continuous commitment to push upskilling among the coaching fraternity.
Leinster Rugby run workshops for the Active Coach Award which are available to coaches of the 15-a-side game for youths and adult coaches and for the Mini Active Coach Award which takes in the reduced format, both of which include attention to the Core 4 elements of catch and pass, ball carry, tackle and continuity.
“Once coaches achieve their coaching accreditation, it is valid for two years,” states Damien.
“In order to maintain this validity, thereafter, there is a points system for bronze, silver and gold badges under the Active Coach Award”.
It means the coaches don’t have to attend the same coaching course every two years. Instead, attendance at specialist workshops and completing coach-related modules keep the accreditation active.
There are 10 points available for every workshop attended. A coach needs to accrue 100 points each year to maintain their coaching badge.
“It is not all about workshops. There are online modules too that deliver points. You take short online courses around a rugby laws examination, concussion protocols, details on inclusiveness”.
There are 10 points awarded for each workshop attended.
“Technically, to get a Bronze Badge, you have to secure 10 points, outside of the online modules, at least 40 points for a Silver Badge and at least 80 points for a Gold Badge”.
The five areas North-East, South-East, Midlands, North Midlands and Metro are obliged to hold workshops across a list of topics to accommodate coaches within their area, both in the mini and the youth and adult levels.
Any coach can attend any workshop in any area. For instance, there were coaches from Athy, Navan and Dundalk at Emmet’s presentation.
“In Metro, we have run a scrum workshop, an attack and defence workshop, a continuity and breakdown workshop, a performance analysis workshop and now a kicking workshop.
“For the performance analysis, we looked at how to record matches, how to break down matches and training sessions and how to come up with game sheet templates.
“We have a backline attack workshop in December. The last one we have is in January which is coaching through the game”.
The workshops are headed up by experts on the various units of the game. For instance, Joe Walsh presented on Performance Analysis. Fionn Gilbert and Matt Gill (pictured above) presented on the scrum.
“It is ongoing Continuous Professional Development (CDP) for coaches in areas of interest in the game,” affirms Damien.
“It is broken down into specific areas, technical and tactical unit-based components of the game, like scrum, backline attack, lineout, kicking.
“These coach development workshops are designed to make coaches more confident and more competent in their field”.