Former Tipperary manager Eamon O’Shea wants an increase in championship games at senior inter-county level.
O’Shea, the keynote speaker at Saturday’s GAA coaching conference in Croke Park, lamented the disproportionally high training to games ratio that inter-county hurlers endure.
“As a coach you are looking to see how players will do in a pressurised situation and to do that you have to put them in a pressurised situation. The hurling championship needs more matches,” said O’Shea.
“Training doesn’t give you that [pressurised] environment and we have too many training sessions. I would like to have one training a week and a match at the weekend. That is when you can really get your team together.”
Citing Kilkenny as hurling’s “innovative” force, O’Shea said teams who seek to replicate the top counties will not garner success. “You have to challenge to be the best you can be. The best are innovative. People look at Kilkenny and they are constantly innovative. If you want to be the best, you have to be ahead of the curve. If you are following, you are losing. That is certainly what I learned. You have to be going about it the way you want to do it. We [Tipperary] made mistakes, I’d say we were the most mistake-laden county. But we tried [new things]. Even if they don’t come off, you are learning all the time. When you start out as a coach, you have to figure out who you are and what your team are.
“And what kind of game you want. The game is evolving. Even in the three years I went from coach of Tipperary to Tipperary manager, the game had changed.
“It took me almost a year to catch-up.”
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