Senior Gaelic Football Drills – Recommendations

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Hello once again and many thanks for taking the time to visit this Gaelic football drills list for Seniors which can also be used for minor level and also the older underage categories such as U16. Trying to write about these more complex drills and explain them in diagram format is actually a lot harder than just recording a live video feed but we hope our 10 drills here can benefit you and your teams all the same.

Instead of having to watch 5 or 10 videos, you can save time by scrolling down through this list and picking out the ones that you believe that can work best for your own groups. Ideally, you should pick 2 or 3 drills for one night and another 2 or 3 drills for the second night and so on and so forth so that the weekly training sessions remain fresh at all times.

There is also an opportunity to leave your own opinions and feedback at the comment box section provided at the end of this page so if there are Gaelic football drills that work better for you, then let us know by submitting your comment and ticking the necessary box below. Alternatively, you can leave a link if you wish of any video sessions that you believe should be seen by the wider Gaelic community.

Read also: Our equipment support list for your drills here

Senior Gaelic Football Drills – 10 Options

Gaelic Drill 1 – Combo Interplay Hand & Kick Pass

Drill Instructions:

  • One of the most popular drills I have seen and used down through the years is the Combo Interplay hand and kick pass drill which gets everyone moving at pace and practicing their passing skill abilities.
  • Set out players and cones are outlined below which can be 30m or even 40m apart for the kick passing and keep the hand-passing part of the drill around 8 meters apart.
  • From the diagram, the ball starts at 1, number one hand passes to 2, number 2 kick passes to 3, 3 hand passes to 4, 4 kick passes to 5, 5 hand passes to 6, 6 kick passes to 7, 7 hand passes to 8 and the players stationed at 8 kick passes to 1 again when the drill repeats itself again.
  • Start with 2 balls and then progress to 3 and 4 balls after a few minutes and also increase the tempo from 80% to 100% speed as the drill progresses.

Gaelic Drill 2 – 3 vs 3 Fist Pass Scoring

Drill Instructions:

  • For the next drill, you will need to split them into groups of 3 and have 3 defender teams set up near the goals and the rest will be attacking in threes
  • The first attacking team of 3 need to do the 3-man weave as they enter the goal area and then they must try to get the ball past the 3 defenders and score a point using a fist pass.
  • If the defenders manage to intercept the ball, then they must work the ball through either of the cones in red above.
  • Alternate the defenders each time so that each group get the opportunity to defend at least 3 times.
  • Progress then to alternate the attackers and defenders’ positions and to only allow 2 plays of the ball before they must make a pass. Keep track of how many points each team can score and assign a more difficult task such as 50 push-ups to the team that gets the least number of scores.

Read also: Our support equipment list for drills here

Gaelic Drill 3 – Zone Progression Passing

Drill Instructions:

  • This next drill is quite easy to set up and just set out 4 zone square areas around 10m by 10m or larger depending on numbers. Ideally have them set up in groups of 4 or 5 and give each team different coloured bibs.
  • The coach throws the ball up in zone 1 and the winning team must get 3 consecutive passes before they can move and progress to zone 2.
  • When they arrive in zone 2, they must complete 2 consecutive passes before they can progress onto zone 1 where just 1 pass is needed.
  • Once the final pass is made in zone 1, then they should try to shoot for a point as outlined in the arrows above. If the team without the ball intercepts a pass, then they keep going onto the next zones in place of the original attacking team

Gaelic Drill 4 – Work Out Work in & Shoot

Drill Instructions:

  • First of all, set out red marker cones around 30m out from goal and also set up another square area from the goal posts.
  • Split them into teams of 4 and the focus here is for the attacking team to work the ball out through the red cones against 4 defenders and then work the ball back in towards the goals for a shot on goal only and alternate with point scoring and fist hand scoring as the drill progresses.
  • Players can take as many plays of the ball they want and the 4 of them should work out a plan to beat the 4 defenders be it 2 working the ball out and the other 2 making space inside for a pass to be received.
  • Keep alternating the defenders and the attackers each time and progress to 4 versus 3 and even 4 versus 2 to make defenders work that bit harder.

Gaelic Drill 5 – Sprint, Fetch and Score

Drill Instructions:

  • This next drill which you may not have used before is quite easy to set up and position the cones, players, and small goal posts as outlined in the diagram above
  • This will be a speed and sprint test to see who can win the ball when the coach in the centre (yellow) throws up the ball.
  • Split the group into 4 and then have 2 sets of bibs, one set on one side and the other set of bibs on the other.
  • When the coach blows the whistle, the first player from each cone sprints around the cone as outlined in the arrows above and the team of 2 corresponding coloured bibs then tries to score a goal on either side.
  • The coloured bibs that don’t get possession then try to defend and intercept the pass. Alternate the coloured bibs to different zones and progress to only allow one play of the ball when possession is won.

Gaelic Drill 6 – Win the Breaking Ball

Drill Instructions:

  • To help the skill of winning a breaking ball, split the group into smaller groups of 6 and give footballs to the players on the outer cones.
  • Player at 1 then kicks a high ball at 1A for the 2 players then to jump and break down the ball. The 2 players at 2A then try to win this breaking ball which can go in any direction.
  • Once the ball is one, then the player at 2 kicks a high ball to the 2 players at 2A for them to break it down and for the players at 1A to try to win the next breaking ball.
  • Alternate their positions after a few minutes and also alternate the match ups at stations 1A and 2A but try to match them as best you can in terms of size and ability.

Read also: Equipment resource list for your drills here

Gaelic Drill 7 – Running Passing Combo Drill

Drill Instructions:

  • Hopefully the diagram doesn’t come across as too complicated as all you need to do really is to follow the numbers and arrows as outlined in detail.
  • Player starts at 1 and then hand-passes to 2 and continues the loop run where they will take a return pass later from player 4
  • Player at 3 runs at the same time and takes the pass from feeder 2 and fist passes to the next feeder player at point 4. Once the ball is at point 4, the ball is hand passed back to player 1 who then kick passes it to station 5.
  • As the ball is received at station 5, the player at station 6 runs to the shoulder to take the fist pass at station 5 and then tries to score a goal.
  • Players should follow the ball to where they passed and have 3 balls running at the same time to keep things at full tempo.

Gaelic Drill 8 – Support By-Pass Play

Drill Instructions:

  • Starting off, set out 4 cones a minimum of 20m apart and split out the players into 4 equal groups. They key here is when the pass is given that the player needs to keep going with another player instead of just stopping. So, in effect, each player by-passes the first station and stops instead at the second station.
  • Start with one ball to get them accustomed to it and then progress to 2 balls and then 4 balls at full tempo pace.
  • Player 1 passes to player 2 and player 2 returns the ball back to player 1 who then passes it to player 3 and then joins the back of group 3.
  • Player 3 who receives the ball passes it to player 2 who then passes it to player 4. Player 2 then joins the back of group 4. The drill is played then continuously in this format for 5 to 10 minutes and change to anticlockwise direction after a few minutes.

Read also: Support equipment list for Gaelic drills here

Gaelic Drill 9 – Attackers vs Defenders

Drill Instructions:

  • To support both the attacking play and tackling skills, this next drill is quite easy to set up in a few minutes so mark out a cone around 30m from goal and organise 6 defenders split into 3 mini teams of 2.
  • The rest of the group remain 30m out and start it off as 2 attackers versus 2 defenders where the attackers can only shoot for goals.
  • Emphasis should be placed on support play through the defenders, speed, accurate hand passing and movement of the ball at pace.
  • This can then be progressed to 3 attackers vs 2 defenders and alternate the twin defender groups each time to give them a break. Likewise, you should also alternate the attackers to defend and get the defenders to attack

Gaelic Drill 10 – Intense Triangle Drill

Drill Instructions:

  • Another simple drill to set up and one of my favourites down through the years is the triangle warm up intense triangle drill which can help on so many different skills of the game.
  • Split out the large group into 3 and assign equal numbers to the cones. Start off with one ball in a clockwise direction and then introduce a second ball and a third ball in due course.
  • At the blow of the whistle, the ball movements must switch into an anti-clockwise direction. Any ball that hits the ground means the entire group must get down and do 20 push-ups which will motivate them to keep the ball from the ground.
  • Progress then to high throws for catching and low fast throws for pick-ups where the skills of fielding the ball and collecting a low ball at pace can be practiced.

Educate others in the Gaelic Football Community?

Did you find this Gaelic Football drill list helpful or useful in any way? Or are there other drills that you would like to share yourself while you are here?

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

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