As always, let me know your opinions, or any ideas you have had.
- Dual Go-Games
Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, I believe that all kids up to a certain age (10 or 11 perhaps) should be exposed to both hurling and football.
Training at this age should be about having fun out in the open and learning the basics.
What better way than to be exposed to both of our sports?
There must be a large number of kids across the county that never get the chance to play the sport that isn't predominant in their area.
If even one inter-county footballer was found and nurtured in Shinrone or Coolderry and one inter-county hurler in Rhode or Edenderry, wouldn't it be worth it?
This would also involve all Go-Games blitzes at these ages involving hurling and football for all.
This brings me onto my next point on coaching.
- More access to coaching and development for all underage coaches
When thinking of the previous point, I knew that coaches would need to be taught how to coach their non-predominant sport.
However, I now also wonder what % have proper coaching experience in their own sport, beyond a box-ticking exercise.
A centralised county-wide database of coaching videos and tutorials for coaches, with standards for each coach to be able to implement in their clubs.
Perhaps, cross-training between coaches from a hurling club with coaches of a football club to teach each other what they know.
- Exposure to Faithful Fields and O'Connor Park
We have fantastic facilities in our county, rivalled across the country.
With inter-county now concluded, I would love to see these pitches still brimming with activity every evening and weekend.
While blitzes take place on the fields, parents and coaches should be offered demonstrations and workshops on various topics.
- Access to high standards for every teen
Plenty of children, for one reason or another, will not mature and fulfil their ability until late teens.
Therefore, every teen in an Offaly club should be given the chance to reach their full ability even if they have not made a Development squad.
Of course not every child will want to, but tutorials and programs on gym work and S&C could be offered to everyone.
Perhaps 3-4 clubs get an evening together in FF with a trainer, sent away to work on their program and a follow-up session 6-8 weeks later?
Even exposing everyone to the diet and mobility plans that their peers in development squads are on would make a huge difference.
- Faithful Store
I haven't heard of this happening much elsewhere, although I would imagine Cork, Kerry, Dublin etc have some form of this.
Can you imagine the number of jerseys and merchandise that could be sold on a Saturday morning in the Faithful Fields at a blitz?
Or as we hunker down in O'Connor Park for an Allianz League game next February, I'm sure Offaly beanie hats or umbrellas would be in strong demand.
I know all of these ideas may not be feasible or in any way likely to be implemented, but starting a discussion is worth a go.