The McGrath and Solskjaer doctrine: Treat them as people first, players second

At the GAA coaching conference in Croke Park a couple of weeks ago, a full house was in attendance to listen and learn from the great and the good of the coaching world, writes Mike Quirke.

There were some fascinating presentations and plenty of take-home messages from the day. It was also the first real opportunity I had to listen to former Waterford hurling manager Derek McGrath speak outside of the snippets of interviews we get on TV.

He had the crowd hanging on his every word with what was an incredibly honest and revealing 40-minute keynote address. He didn’t talk about the importance of drills or games, not tactical nuances or disciplinary hard lines. Instead, he talked about people. He spoke in detail about the strength and depth of the relationships he forged with his players and how seemingly effective that was towards developing something very special during his time in Waterford.

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