The Ultimate Guide to ‘Coaching Children in Sport’ by Paul Kilgannon

 In Events, Sport

Coach, Primary School Teacher and Author Paul Kilgannon will launch his new book, ‘Coaching Children in Sport’, this Friday November 16th at 7pm at the Claregalway Hotel.

Paul works full time as a primary school teacher in Bushypark National School and has coached the Carnmore hurlers at a senior level and also managed the Claregalway footballers to the county intermediate title in 2017.

In his debut book Paul focuses on the CARVER Framework, which is Connection, Awareness, Research, Values (and Visions), Endorsing and Reflection. He believes in coaching children and teens that it is vital to focus on the development of the child and the young players through his own coaching model, the CARVER Framework.

Carver Framework - Paul Kilgannon Book Launch

The 183-page book is filled with Paul’s knowledge on coaching and focuses on key points he believes can make a difference in the physical and mental development of children.

“When it comes to the needs of the child, you need to know the characteristics and behaviours of the child. And you need to know about the role mistakes play in learning,” states the primary school teacher.

“Then, you have the five pillars of a player which are mental, physical, technical, tactical and lifestyle, Mindset, for me, is the most important thing and we can coach mindset. We communicate mindset all the time so it can be coached. People would normally place that after physical, technical and tactical but it can’t be. Everything comes from attitude.”

It is Kilgannon’s hope that the book will inspire and assist volunteer child coaches to gain a fuller perspective on their role, realise its vast potential, educate themselves and practice, self- improvement, learning and excellence in coaching children.

The challenge of adult coaching, as Paul sees it, is that by the time you get them, many are just so stuck in their practices. Adaptability to change is a key element in sporting performance.

Kilgannon has always been one for reading and researching, and somehow seemed to find his way into things before they come into the universal consciousness of those around him. His interest in coaching, both the collective and the individual, continued to both inspire him and haunt him throughout his twenties and probably to this day. Ultimately, he has always wanted to know more and do better.

Good coaching is good coaching, and Paul believes although this book is written for the child coach, there is much in it for both the teen and adult coach. The principles hold strong. Indeed many of Paul’s beliefs and insights have come from the challenges of coaching adults and gaining an understanding of the most important qualities an adult player needs to succeed and reach their potential. He has recently finished coaching and managing an adult senior football team whom he spent three years with. For him, adult coaching is much tougher than child coaching. Again, it’s the ‘adapted’ nature of the adult that is the most challenging. This really cements Paul’s beliefs in how important child coaching is and how much scope there is for improvement in coaching practices.

Over the past few years, Kilgannon has been compelled to begin collating his coaching thoughts, ideas and philosophies into presentations, workshops, manuals and models on child and teen coaching in sport and club coaching structures. These endeavours have seen him drill down into the essence of coaching. His challenge has been; how do you coach a coach to be a coach? And this book is the natural progression from that. Through working with volunteer coaches in voluntary sports clubs, he has quickly come to the conclusion that there really is such a need for volunteer coach education and mentoring in sport.

Coaching is a craft, and yet he feels society grossly underestimates it and undervalues it. Effective child and teen sport coach education can markedly improve the world.

Kilgannon’s hope is that his debut book to be relatively light, easy reading, thought provoking and useful. It is not designed to be a textbook, rather a genuine catalyst and aid for learning and personal development in coaching. He wants it to be an agent for change and sees it as a book you might read, and then return to it and reread again and again, and get something new from it each time. He wants to give readers the tools or a framework to allow them to build their own ‘Coaching World’ and then to continually improve that world through on- going learning.

Paul Kilgannon’s book “Coaching Children in Sport” published by Book Hub, will be launched by former National Director of Hurling, Paudie Butler this Friday at the Claregalway Hotel at 7pm. All welcome. The book will retail at €20.

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