Gaelic Football Drills for U14 & U16 2024 – 15 Drills


Do you need some help with Gaelic Football drills for U14’s and U16’s age levels? If so, then please make sure to check out our list of Gaelic Football Drills for U14’s and U16’s which we hope will benefit you and your own underage teams in some small way. A video summary will also be included to give you a quick overview and various other underage Gaelic football video drills will also be included throughout this list which hopefully can give you more ideas of what you believe can work best for your own panels.

Most of these are geared towards U14’s but many can be used for the U16 age category also. There are 15 drills outlined in this particular list so feel free to pick and choose or adapt them to suit your own needs and requirements. Once the initial warm up is done, make sure to allow sufficient time for all the core muscle stretches and also allow 20 minutes at the end of the session for a competitive game.


Read also: Our Gaelic Football drills for U12 & 14 here

Video Overview - Gaelic Football Drills U14 & U16

To give you a quick overview of what these 15 drills are all about, feel free to take a quick look through this video also which will outline these Gaelic football drills in brief if time is against you. Further information on each of the Gaelic drills are outlined further below.

Read also: Our equipment support list for Gaelic drills here

U14 & U16 Gaelic Football Drills – 15 Options

Gaelic Drill Option 1 – Possession Passing

Drill Instructions:

  • Line up a rectangle approx. 5m wide by 15m long and split them into groups of 8 or 9. The blue bibs must stay on the outer perimeter lines only, but they can move left or right only as needed along the perimeter.
  • Organise for 3 players in red then to be piggy’s in the middle where they will try to intercept the ball between the blue bib players.
  • Allow it to run for 1 minute and then alternate the players to be the interceptors in the middle.
  • They blue bib players on the outer perimeter should try to string 10 passes together without losing possession. This drill will focus them on higher quality hand passing and keeping possession of the ball when they are under pressure.

Gaelic Drill Option 2 – Combo Kick & Hand passing

Drill Instructions:

  • For this next drill, split them into lines of 8 or 9 again as outlined in the diagram above and here we want to work on the combination of both kick passing and hand passing
  • The players start with a kick punt pass to the first stationary red player and then takes a return pass. Once received again, they hand pass to the second stationary red player and take another return pass.
  • Once the second return pass is taken, then it is another kick punt pass player to the next set of players at the corresponding cones. Once the 2 kick passes and 1 hand pass are done, then they jog to the rear of the team.
  • This will help with moving the ball with different passing skills and focus should be given to the quality and accuracy of the passes. Motivate them to keep it going without the ball touching the ground.


Gaelic Drill Option 3 – Kick pass, Turn and Shoot

Drill Instructions:

  • This drill is designed to help them practice with their shooting skills, but they must collect the ball with their back to the goal, turn and then shoot for a point score.
  • Split up the panel evenly and the yellow bibs are responsible for giving the accurate kick pass. Once kicked, they join the blue bibs.
  • The blue bib collects the ball with the goal to their backs and must turn quickly and take a shot on goal without any plays of the ball.
  • Next the coach gets involved by calling which direction the ball should be kicked – left, right or straight up the middle as outlined in the arrows above.
  • The blue bib then returns to the yellow bibs when they have taken their score. Keep note of players who score regularly for potential forward game play.

Gaelic Drill Option 4 – Split Pitch Game

Drill Instructions:

  • For this drill, we want to encourage more passing and in particular kick passing so split the pitch in 2 and players are not allowed to pass the half-way line.
  • The only way the ball can pass the half-way line is by a kick pass so players will always be trying to make space for themselves to receive an oncoming pass. Normal rules apply and allow them to have as many plays of the ball they want.
  • For scoring though, the only scores allowed are hand fisted points so this will encourage them to work for each other in each half and to work the ball forward together towards the goal posts.
  • This will prevent individual stronger players from dominating the entire pitch and making them work more with their team members.
  • Allow to run for 5 minutes, take a break, switch them around and play again for another 5 minutes.


Read also: Our equipment support list here

Gaelic Drill Option 5 – Duo Hand Passing

Drill Instructions:

  • Set up a square of approx. 10m by 10m or 15m by 15m and have 4 players lined up on the exterior of the side – one on each side with the ball as outlined in the diagram above.
  • These exterior players with the ball should be wearing the same coloured bibs as the forwards inside the square. Have 5 or 6 forwards in the square and also 5 or 6 defenders as markers.
  • The outer players need to hand pass the ball to their forwards inside the square and the forward must then get a hand pass to another exterior player.
  • The job of the defender here is to intercept and prevent the passing going to the exterior players.
  • This drill is great at getting them to work harder with their passing when they are under pressure and while under fatigue. Alternate the players after 3 minutes to give them a break

Gaelic Drill Option 6 – Tackle Bags and Blocking

Drill Instructions:

  • For this next drill, the focus will be on hitting tackle bags with the shoulder and block kicking so set up 5 cones and 5 stationary players as outlined in the diagram above.
  • Line up the players behind the main cone on the left and each player will need to perform 3 kick blocks and also hit 2 tackle bags during the process.
  • Start off with a fast walk pace to get the technique correct and then progress to a jog and a faster pace of 50% when they are more comfortable with it.
  • Alternate the tackle bags for each shoulder and the kick blocking should be done on both the left and right sides.
  • After a few minutes, alternate the stationary players and once they make the 3 blocks and hit the 2 tackle bags, then they jog back to the original position to start it once again

Gaelic Drill Option 7 – Cross Kick & Hand pass Interplay

Drill Instructions:

  • One of my favourite drills of all times is the Interplay cross kick and hand pass drill and many clubs are using this drill nowadays.
  • Set out 8 cones as outlined in the diagram above and have 2 to 3 players in each marker cone.
  • Start off with one ball until they get accustomed to it and introduce a second ball and a third ball after a while
  • The drill starts with a hand pass from 1 to 2, a kick pass from 2 to 3, a hand pass from 3 to 4, a kick-pass from 4 to 5, a hand-pass from 5 to 6, a kick-pass from 6 to 7, a hand-pass from 7 to 8 and then finally a kick-pass from 8 to 1 and then it starts all over again.
  • Players run to the positions where they passed the ball to and introduce kick passing with the weaker foot along with hand passing with the weaker hand in future sessions

Gaelic Drill Option 8 – Teamwork Out Teamwork In

Drill Instructions:

  • For this next teamwork drill, it is all about developing teamwork and getting them to work with each other both out to the half-way line and then working it back in for a score.
  • You can set this up as 5 v 5 or 6 v 6 and get them to spread out across a 30m small marked pitch.
  • The coach starts by passing it to a member of the yellow team in the centre and then they must work the ball out past the 30m line where the cones are placed.
  • Once they get out beyond these 30m cones, then they must work together to get the back in towards the goal for a score. Start with fist pass point scoring and then allow kick scoring. Alternate the teams after 5 to 8 minutes switching the defenders with the attackers.


Read also: Our drill equipment support list here

Gaelic Drill Option 9 – Split Pitch Possession

Drill Instructions:

  • For this popular drill option, you can use the full width of the pitch and divide it in 2 or mark out an area of 40m long by 30m wide. Split the full group into equal numbers of the pitch and line up the space marker cones down the centre to divide the 2 pitches.
  • Players must stick to their side of the pitch and the objective is to make 5 passes in each half and then pass to your corresponding player in the next pitch where they must also try to string 5 passes together in a row without being intercepted.
  • The coach starts the game by kicking a high ball into the centre and the team who wins possession starts the possession game of stringing 5 passes together. Once 5 successful hand passes are completed, then a kick pass or a hand-pass can be given to their teammates in the next pitch

Gaelic Drill Option 10 – Circular High Catching

Drill Instructions:

  • To help improve the skill of high catching, set up a circular drill and then have 3 cones set up for the coaches and mentors as outlined in the diagram above.
  • In the circular drill, have 3 small cones for the players to be stationed so that they can run forward for a jump and a high catch.
  • Once the player catches the ball, they return the ball again to the coach with the hand-pass and then they move onto the next cone for the next section of high catching.
  • Emphasis should be placed with the catching of the ball with their feet lifted from the ground so the coaches should always try to give a throw that can be easily fetched.
  • After the high catching, the throw can be alternated to a low throw to the feet, a hand pass or a throw to the right or left.

Gaelic Drill Option 11 – Competitive High Catching

Drill Instructions:

  • Another drill you should try to incorporate into your training sessions at some stage is competitive high catching but start it off as one player giving less resistance than the other.
  • Allow the blues to catch the ball on the first run with a low level of resistance, then allow the yellows to catch the ball on the second run with 50% resistance and then let them compete one on one for the high ball catch for the remaining runs
  • Ideally, set up a second mentor station behind the first for the high catch drill to be repeated twice one after the other as outlined in the diagram.
  • When lining them up, try to match them up in terms of size as best you can and balls need to be fed back to the mentors each time. Once the 2 high catches are complete, they jog back to the original position to be repeated again.

Gaelic Drill Option 12 – 2 on 1 Defending

Drill Instructions:

  • This next drill is very easy to set up and it is really targeted for your defenders on your team so start with 4 strong defenders – 1 in each block as outlined in the diagram above.
  • The 4 defenders should have their own coloured bibs – here for illustration purposes they are wearing the blue bibs.
  • Next the yellow bibs then are set up in pairs and their objective is to move the ball past the first defender into the next block where they will face the second defender.
  • Once through the first defender they need to work the ball together through the second defender and then they will jog back to their original position.
  • Defenders should be changed every minute or so and progress it to a 1 on 1 after 5 to 8 minutes. Also alternate the forwards into the defending positions to improve their tackling skills.

View also: Our equipment support list for drills here

Gaelic Drill Option 13 – Backs vs Forwards

Drill Instructions:

  • This will help the team as it would be in a real game, so the forwards and backs need to be lined up in their normal positions.
  • Here the coach will be responsible for feeding the ball into the game and the midfielders need to be positioned on either side of the pitch as outlined with the players marked in green in the diagram above. One will assist the defenders while the other will assist the forwards
  • Start the game with the players only allowed 2 plays of the ball before having to make a pass and points can only be scored with a hand fist.
  • After 5 minutes, alternate the players into various positions, change the players around from position to position and progress then to allow unlimited plays of the ball.

Gaelic Drill Option 14 – Alternative Scoring

Drill Instructions:

  • Another drill to develop scoring skills is to set up 3 different stations 30m out from goal and have 3 stationary feeder players stationed on small cones halfway in.
  • The drill marked 1 will work on fisting the ball over the bar, the drilled marked 2 will shoot on goal and the drill marked 3 will shoot for points.
  • You should set up 2 or 3 players behind the goals to feed the balls back out again quickly and the stationary players should apply some resistance after hand passing the ball back to the oncoming players.
  • Speed should be the focus along with bouncing the ball, solo’s, quick hand passes and accuracy while taking their scores.
  • After a few minutes, alternate the feeders behind the goal and the feeders at the halfway cones.

Gaelic Drill Option 15 – Star Kick Passing

Drill Instructions:

  • The final drill on this list that you can use for your sessions is the Star Kick passing drill which is quite easy to set up and it can be used as part of one of your warm-up session drills also.
  • You can start off this passing drill as a hand passing Star shape drill with 8m of a spacing between each cone station and then extend them out to 20m between each cone for kick passing.
  • Players follow the ball where they pass to and they follow the numbers 1 to 5 as outlined in the diagram above.
  • As their as so many players in a tight space, the players should name call the receiving player before the pass is given so there is clarity who is to receive the oncoming pass.

Your Feedback - Educate Others?

Did you find our list of U14 and U16 Gaelic football drills helpful in any way? Or are there other drills that you believe work better for your own groups that you would recommend instead?

If possible – please share your own feedback and suggestions in the comment box section provided below – so that others across the Gaelic Football community can learn also! (email addresses are not published)

Posted in Adult Gaelic Drills, Hand Pass Drills, U12/14 Drills, U16 Drills, Video Drills and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .


  1. We are looking to get more drills on the training pitch as some of the sessions have become quite stale in recent weeks – something was needed to freshen it all up. Other links tend to have pdf files which are hard enough to follow but I found this a much easier read and the instructions and diagrams are well laid out to be fair – select perhaps 2 or 3 from this list and see how they go.. Many thanks for giving us some guidance for the local underage teams.

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