An Overview of Youth Hockey Programmes in Ulster


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An Overview of the Regional Development Squad Programme in Ulster: 

An Overview of the Regional Development Squad Programme in Ulster Sunday 8th January 2006. Irish Management Institute Dublin.

The Regional Development Squad Programme: 

The Regional Development Squad Programme A province wide programme aimed at talented young players aspiring to representative selection.

The Regional Development Squad Programme - Strategic Context: 

The Regional Development Squad Programme - Strategic Context Strategic Context Based on a needs analysis within the sport. Mix of indirect instrumental and intrinsic benefit Long term planning

Strategic Context: 

Strategic Context

Strategic Context - Government: 

Strategic Context - Government The Programme for Government identifies priorities for allocating public spending. The Department of Culture, Arts and Learning Corporate Strategy provides specific direction. PfG themes. Working for a Healthier People. Investing in Education and Skills

Strategic Context – Sports Council: 

Strategic Context – Sports Council Key Strategic Objective One Strategic Objective 1.3 ‘Through investing in people, to increase participation in sport and physical activity and deliver sporting success’ ‘To increase the number and standards of sporting performance at all levels by Northern Ireland performers’

Strategic Context – Irish Hockey Association: 

Strategic Context – Irish Hockey Association Irish Hockey Association Strategic Plan. Strategic Goal 3 ‘to raise standards of performance at all levels of the sport’

The Programme Framework : 

The Programme Framework Three main strands to the programme. A series of coached sessions focussing on technical improvement within a tactical context. Sports Science support with nutrition, fitness regimes and sports psychology. Participation in the Northern Ireland Youth Games

The Programme Framework: 

The Programme Framework Coaching Content. Sports Science Content. Programme developed by Ulster Hockey High Performance Manager. Delivery by Regional Coaches. Written support material available.

The Programme Framework: 

The Programme Framework Quality Assurance Measures. Equity Policy. Child Protection Policy. Accountable financial procedures. Reporting and evaluation procedures.

The Programme Framework: 

The Programme Framework Eight Regional Centres. Programme duration of 30 hours. Regular 2/3 hour sessions on designated Sundays. Geographically spread through Ulster Players attend the regional centre for which they have been nominated.

Programme Costs - Sourcing.: 

Programme Costs - Sourcing. Annual programme costs of €21,750 Sports Council grant aid funding Ulster Women’s Hockey Union Participants Corporate sponsors.

Nomination Process: 

Nomination Process Process must be, open, transparent and accessible to all eligible parties consistent with equity policies. Initially the only criterion is age. For this year’s programme - under 15 on the 1st January 2006. Fits the eligibility framework for Interprovincial selection.

Nomination Process: 

Nomination Process The aim is to draw from as large a pool of talent as possible. Affiliated Schools – Interested School. Affiliated Clubs. Interested Individuals. Published in the Local press. Information posted on the Website.

Selection Process: 

Selection Process Open trials for each regional centre. All nominees are invited to trial. Nominees are not identified by the source of their nomination. Trials are based on a series of technical exercises. Objectively scored.

Regional Squad Composition.: 

Regional Squad Composition. Each squads consist of a maximum 20 – 24 players. 2 goalkeepers are included in each squad. Selection is determined by technical ability. No reference is made to team playing position – except for goalkeepers!

Coaching Personnel : 

Coaching Personnel At least three coaches for each squad Head coach is responsible for the administration and delivery of the programme. The two assistant coaches work under the supervision of the Head coach.

Coach Competencies.: 

Coach Competencies. Head coaches qualified at IHA Level 2 Assistant coaches qualified at IHA Level 1 All coaches have attended a recognised course in Child Protection All coaches have agreed to operate within the guidelines of the Ulster Women’s Hockey Union Child protection policy. All coaches have suitable personal liability insurance. Emphasis is on developing female coaches.

Coach – Remuneration.: 

Coach – Remuneration. Remuneration All coaches receive payment. Rate of payment determined by role and qualification. Fixed rate mileage allowance. available to all coaches.

Coach Development.: 

Coach Development. Programme of Continuous Professional Development. Pathway to future career development. Programme of courses aimed at increasing the competencies of coach. Inclusion in all Ulster based coaching workshops. Assistance with further qualifications. Desired criterion for future Ulster under age appointments

Youth Games: 

Youth Games Largest Youth Sport festival in Ireland. Over 24 different sports competing at a range of different venues Over 3,500 young people involved

Youth Games: 

Youth Games All Regional Development Squads members participate. All Squads select two teams. Round Robin tournament. Small sided games format dictated by logistics. Sponsored kit and perks for all participants. Youth Games medals for all competitors.

Youth Games: 

Youth Games Player Pathway Selection for Ulster Under 16 Summer camps. Coach Pathway Experience of dealing with talented under age players. Setting team tactics Managing a squad in a tournament situation.

Youth Games: 

Youth Games The format leads to exciting, skilful, end-to-end hockey with lots of goals combined with fierce competition!! The players and their coaches love it! Their parents are very proud of their children’s achievements!

Programme Indicators: 

Programme Indicators Player records of achievement provide measurable indicators of the relative success of the programme. Coach promotion provide measurable indicators of the relative success of the programme. All current members of the Ulster Under 16 squad attended last year’s RDS programme. 17 out of the 18 members of the current Ulster Under 18 squad were involved in the RDS programme. Former participants in the RDS programme have represented Ireland at ALL levels. Number of former RDS coaches now working at provincial and national level.

Behind the Scene – Programme Details: 

Behind the Scene – Programme Details Current issues under discussion. Talent identification. Programme Content Are the criteria for selection correct? Should we be looking for other attributes? Should the content of the programme be more prescriptive?

Behind the Scene – Tracking Players: 

Behind the Scene – Tracking Players Model provided by Regional Development Squad process. Importance of detailed record keeping. Tracking players through the development pathway. Through the various age group Under 16 Under 18 Under 21 Senior Ireland Can we objectively assess the quality of our talent identification procedures by retrospective analysis?

Behind the Scene – Nominations and Participation Levels.: 

Behind the Scene – Nominations and Participation Levels. Regional Development Squad Nominations. 2003 – 2004 - 386 2004 – 2005 - 387 2005 – 2006 - 298 Most talented in one age band. Group massively under-represented in Clubs.

Age Profile of Women’s Hockey in Ulster.: 

Age Profile of Women’s Hockey in Ulster.

Behind the Scene – Nominations and Participation Levels.: 

Behind the Scene – Nominations and Participation Levels. Nominations selected for Programme. 2000 - 2001 32% of squad members were also members of club. 2005 - 2006 93% of squad members were also members of clubs.

Behind the Scene: 

Behind the Scene What did the players enjoy most about the programme? What did teachers least like about the programme? Becoming better players. The Youth Games, particularly the format of the matches! The Youth Games, particularly the format of the matches!

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