Jason Coffey – Performance Games Development Administrator

  1. My Role as Performance GDA is to oversee all Athletic Development within out talent academy squads, Post Primary schools & clubs. Along with that, I also help delivery coach education within the county and deliver the TURAS player pathway to clubs. My role is new within the county and previously I coordinated the Cúl Camps. Now I am rresponsible for the provision of education and training support to talent academy coaches and players with particular emphasis on GAA specific strength & conditioning, hydration & nutrition.
  2. Within my role as Head of Athletic Development, some of the key tasks are:
    • To provide advice and monitor player’s diet and nutrition programmes;
    • Oversee the delivery and roll out of a Strength & Conditioning Programme to post-primary schools, clubs and County coaches in the county to ensure there is a coherent approach towards the area of physical fitness in the county for youth players;
    • Build and maintain excellent working relationship with 3rd Level college(s) and to identify potential students to support high performance programme;
    • Provision of GAA specific training and technical support to County Talent Academy Coaches and players, to include the components of physical fitness, diet and nutrition


  1. My role involved being the county co-coordinator for the Smartabase Player Data Management System. We use this monitor activity levels, welfare parameters and performance data for Laois GAA players. Player information is uploaded by the player and/or coach and is accessible only to those with explicit authorization to see the data.  Smartabase give us the following for our Talent academy players : Information on player training loads (TR Load – how much work they are doing). Information on player wellness (response to training load).Platform to store player profile records.

Why measure what players are doing?
• Players in a football academy will play for one team, and have full-time medical team monitoring training load and response. At any one stage a GAA player could be playing for as many as 6/7 different teams under as many coaches.
• Regular assessment of a player’s state of freshness and training status will allow coaches to train young players more appropriately.
• Excessively high workloads or successive intense sessions may lead to an increase of fatigue and affect players abilities to recover fully.
• Adapting training plans in response to the player’s load and/or internal environment should help reduce the risk of overtraining and player burnout.
What we do with this information?
 A) TR Load – Adjust training where necessary to reduce the risk of overtraining / injury.
B) Player Wellness – Adjust training and educate players on the importance of recovery, they need to self regulate.
C) Records – Track progress in their physical development.
D) Recovery – strategies should be individualized in response to the TR load. (wellness)
E) Identification – Recurring injuries or pain should be identified to prevent overuse injuries.
F) Dangers – Coaches will be made aware of the dangers of overtraining players. Coaches should consider having lower load (technical) sessions ready for players who have accumulated high acute training loads.