MARCH 2013
Tyrone GAA Youth Conference
Date: M\arch
Venue: Tyrone GAA HQ at Garvaghey
Time: 6.45pm – 9.30pm
‘The Winner Within’
Addressing the Emotional Health and Wellbeing of Young Players
Introduction Ciaran McLaughlin, Cathaoirleach / Stephen McHugh, Youth Committee Chairman.
7: 10pm:
‘Sports psychology: time to think beyond performance and
acknowledge the presence of mental illness amongst athletes’
Dr Lynette Hughes (BSC. MA. Ph.D)
Safeguarding in Clubs: promoting the ‘Code’
Kathryn Anderson, Oifigeach Leanaí (County Children’s Officer)
The role GAA can play in addressing suicide prevention
through promotion of SafeTALK training for local Clubs.
Brendan Bonner Head of Health and Social Well-being Improvement (West) Public Health Agency.
Sharing Best Practice in Managing Youth Affairs at Club level
Stephen McHugh, Chairman Tyrone Youth Committee.
How to Develop Self - Empowerment in Young Players.
Brendan Harpur, Oiliúna & Forbartha (County Coaching Officer)
Plenary / Close
Sports psychology:
beyond performance,
acknowledging mental
illness amongst athletes
Dr. Lynette Hughes
POMS (profile of mood states)
Individualised zones of optimal
(IZOF; Hanin)
5-a-day for mental wellbeing
Physical Activity can
compromise health
(10-20% warranting
clinical intervention)
Correlates with depression
and major depressive
Risk for sudden cardiac
death (2.5 fold) and other
conditions (2.3-fold)
Eating disorders
Iron deficiency,
gastrointestinal symptoms,
diabetes mellitus
incidence of allergies and
Depression (21.4%)
Concerns for athletes
Variation in:
• Diagnosis
• Treatment
Doctors in sports
• under intense pressure
from management,
coaches, trainers and
agents to improve
performance in the short
• Faced with a myriad of
ethical dilemmas that
compromise the wellbeing and treatment of
the athlete.7
Vulnerabilities to Mental Illness
Social world of many
organised elite sports
environment (3)
• Requires high investment of time and
• loss of personal autonomy
• disempowerment for athletes
• result in ‘identity-foreclosure’
• leaving athletes few other avenues
through which to shape and reflect
• High athletic identity linked to
psychological distress when this function
of identity is removed, and to
overtraining and athlete burnout.
Identity frequently
Identifying oneself as an athlete
is central importance
Over-reliance on
sporting network for
Highly identified with
and influenced by
Uni-dimensional identity = all
eggs in one basket
Less likely or able to
sources of their identity
Cannot buffer from
emotional highs and
lows of sport
Vulnerabilities to Mental Illness
Injury, competitive
failure, ageing,
retirement from sport
and other psychosocial
• precipitate depression in athletes (4)
• hazardous drinking, driving while
intoxicated and unprotected sex (5)
• Alcohol is a depressant and negative
coping technique used by athletes
i.e. Student, work,
↑ public
recognition & ↑
public scrutiny
•‘Homeostasis’ essential for
performance and growth and repair.
•Students pressures of exams,
coursework, training and competing.
•Recovery element of training
•Additional teams to represent.
•Athletes with a family, job, children,
girlfriend etc. can find it hard to deal
with the demands of intense training on
top of everything else.
•Self-pressure: high motivation and
Role model status
•Many athletes enjoy being recognised
by the public BUT brings with it
additional pressures.
•Self-pressure to always be “the star”
which is unrealistic when other factors
like injury or illness are to be factored
•The pressure to be a role-model leaves it hard for
athletes to make the mistakes their peers make without
being under the scrutiny of fans, the media, coaches and
•Athletes who experience success very early in life can
struggle with such a title.
Pressure to
perform by
↑Time constraints
•Rest and recovery are essential
components for athletic performance.
• Coaches need to reinforce this to
•Coaches also need to be aware when
they are pushing for their own needs as
opposed to the greater good of the
•An athlete who feels understood and
valued will ‘want to’ commit and
make the sacrifices necessary for
performance as opposed to feeling like
they ’have to’ commit.
mental and physical
demands in terms
of intense training
Dealing with
injury/ career
•Experience of injury compared to
experiencing a bereavement.
•Athletes struggle with a body that
does not perform or operate to its
normal capabilities.
•Can become very isolated within the
sports setting and their team, left out.
•Athletes are tested and pushed when
injured which serves to fuel the
psychological trauma experienced
•An athlete needs to continually think of what they eat and drink, how much sleep
they get and how they get themselves “into the zone” for optimal performance.
•Physically striving to push the body.
•Depression, body dysmorphia, anorexia and bulimia are just some of the
documented conditions athletes suffer in trying to deal with the pressures that
come with being a performer.
Current approach to mental illness in
paradigms of
unhelpful =
deprives the
athlete of
care (6)
Common Mental Health
Anxiety, panic and phobias:
• feeling of fear we all experience when faced
with threatening or difficult situations.
• Helps us to avoid dangerous situations
• Makes us alert and motivates us to deal with
• A sudden unexpected surge of anxiety which
makes you want to leave the worrying
• (e.g. Agoraphobia) are fears of a situation or
thing that isn’t dangerous and which most
people don’t find troublesome.
When these feelings become too strong they can stop us from doing the things we
want to.
Stress becoming “distress”
A lack of stress
means your
body is understimulated
Too much
• feeling bored and isolated
• In an effort to find stimulation, many
people do things that are harmful to
themselves (such as taking drugs) or
society (for instance, committing a
• Range of health problems including
headaches, stomach upsets, high blood
pressure, stroke or heart disease.
• cause feelings of distrust, anger,
anxiety and fear, which can destroy
relationships at home and at work.
Often the result of some event or trigger:
• Negative (such as the death of a loved one
(acute), redundancy, divorce or relationship
ended (chronic),
• Positive (a new partner, new job or going on
Negative stressmanagement techniques:
• Drinking alcohol, using
drugs or smoking
• Denying the problem.
• Overeating
• Angry behaviour
Positive stress- management
• Take a power nap
• Relaxation: massage,
meditation, yoga etc.
• Express yourself artistically/
creatively (e.g. acting,
playing an instrument,
writing poetry or singing.
• Have a laugh
• Be gentle to yourself –
positive 'self-talk
Causes of anxiety, panic and phobias
• Genes - (trait anxiety).
• Circumstances - (state anxiety) sometimes it's obvious
what is making you anxious. When the problem
disappears, so does the anxiety. However, some extreme
situations are so threatening that the anxiety goes on
long after the event (PTSD).
• Drugs - recreational drugs like amphetamines, LSD or
ecstasy can all make you anxious.
• Life experience - bad experiences in the past or big lifechanges such as pregnancy, changing job, becoming
unemployed or moving house.
Depression in children: symptoms
• At least 2% of
children under 12
struggle with
• By teenage years
this has risen to
5% - i.e. at least
one depressed
child in every
Simply appearing unhappy much of the time, feelings so
extreme or persistent they get in the way of normal
Headaches, stomach aches, tiredness and other vague
physical complaints that appear to have no obvious
Spending a lot of time in bed but sleeping badly and
waking early in the morning.
Doing badly at school or not coping with things that used
to be manageable
Major changes in weight.
Being unusually irritable, sulky or becoming quiet and
Losing interest in favourite hobbies.
Having poor self-esteem or recurrent feelings of
worthlessness, hopelessness.
Contemplating suicide
Causes of depression
• Losing a loved one (or in
children, a good friendship
breaking up)
• Illness, stress, family problems
(marital disharmony or breakup)
• Abuse
• School problems (such as
bullying, exam fears).
Some children are more resilient
to difficulties than others
• Genetics and family tendencies:
may also explain susceptibility
and why the levels of certain
brain chemicals become
abnormal in depression.
Depression is also a feature of
many other illnesses and
‘Organic' causes include:
An underactive or overactive
thyroid gland
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Viral infections
Traumatic brain injury
Difficulties spotting it:
• Children less capable of expressing feelings = often
react to their moods in a more physical way.
• Some are clearly sad, withdrawn and tearful, others
may become hyperactive, troublesome bullies.
• Symptoms for longer than 3/4 weeks = GP.
• Talk about suicide should always be taken
seriously = get expert advice.
Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar (also known as manic depression) causes
severe mood swings, that usually last several weeks
or months and can be:
• Low mood, intense depression and despair.
• High or ‘manic’ feelings of joy, over-activity and loss
of inhibitions.
• A 'mixed state' such as a depressed mood with the
restlessness and over-activity of a manic episode.
Causes of bipolar
• Genes.
• There may be a physical problem with the brain systems which control
mood - so bipolar disorder can often be controlled with medication.
• Stress can trigger mood swings.
There are a number of types of bipolar disorder:
• Bipolar I. There has been at least one high, or manic episode, which lasts
for longer than one week. You may have only manic episodes, although
most people will also have periods of depression.
• Bipolar II. Where you have more than one episode of severe depression,
but only mild manic episodes (called ‘hypomania’).
• Rapid cycling. You have had more than four mood swings happen
over a 12 month period. This affects around one in ten people with the
Bipolar Symptoms
• Feelings of unhappiness that won’t
go away
• Agitation and restlessness
• Loss of confidence
• Feeling useless, inadequate or
• Unable to think positively
• Can't concentrate or make even
simple decisions
• Loss of appetite
• Sleeping problems including waking
early in the morning
• Lack of interest in sex
• Avoiding other people
• Thoughts of suicide
• General elation
• Feeling more important than usual
• Full of energy or ideas; moving
quickly from one idea to another
• Unable, or don't want to sleep
• More interested than usual in sex
• Making unrealistic plans
• Overactive, talking quickly
• Irritable with other people who can't
go along with your mood or ideas
• Spending money recklessly
Bipolar Symptoms
Psychotic symptoms
If a mood swing becomes very severe, you may have
'psychotic’ symptoms. These include:
• When depressed feeling guilty, worse than anybody else, or
even that you don't exist.
• When manic, feeling you’re on an important mission or you
have special powers or abilities.
• May also experience hallucinations - hear, smell, feel or see
something that isn’t there.
Body dysmorphia
• May be genetic or caused by a chemical
imbalance in the brain.
Who’s affected?
At least 1% of the UK population.
More common in people with a history of
depression and/or social phobia.
Often occurs with obsessive-compulsive
disorder or generalised anxiety disorder.
May also exist alongside an eating
It usually starts in adolescence when
people are most sensitive about their
• Excessive worry about a part of their
body which they perceive to have a
defect, despite reassurances about their
• Wear excessive make-up or heavy
clothing to hide their perceived defect
• Repeatedly look in the mirror and seek
reassurance about their appearance
• Frequently touch or measure the
perceived defect
• Repeatedly pick at their skin or pluck
their hair and eyebrows
• Feel anxious when around others
• Diet and exercise excessively
• Not be able to hold down a job and
sometimes avoid socialising.
• Find it difficult to have relationships.
Eating disorders
Is a broad name for a number of problems we face with food in our society.
Anorexia and bulimia
Deep fear of
Obsession with
affecting body
functions and
Bulimia: comfort in feeling full but dreads taking on the extra calories. Induce vomiting,
causing long-term problems for their throat and teeth on top of psychological problems.
Common behaviour of someone affected by an eating disorder includes:
Mentally keeping a balance between calories taken in and calories used up
Deep-seated feelings of anxiety if they consume a few calories too many
Self-loathing, depression or panic if they haven’t lost any weight or put a little on
Many anorexics and bulimics know the damage they are doing to themselves but are still
unable to stop. This increases feelings of despair and self-loathing, causing their condition to
Causes of eating disorders
• Evidence that eating disorders can run in families.
• Socially:
- Images of physical perfection
- Encouragement to eat foods packed with calories made up of
saturated fat and simple carbohydrates.
Psychologically, at the root of an eating disorder:
• Distorted body image
• Low self-esteem
• Anxiety for some control
• An expression of deep emotions such as depression or trauma that
can’t be put into words
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Getting diagnosed
with a serious illness.
Having (or seeing) a
serious road
The unexpected
injury or violent
death of someone
Continuing physical
or sexual abuse.
Conflict or war
Symptoms of PTSD
Usually start within six months, and sometimes only a few weeks
after the trauma.
After the traumatic event you can feel grief-stricken, depressed,
anxious, guilty and angry.
May also:
Have flashbacks and nightmares, reliving the event in your
mind, again and again (forced to think about what happened
and decide what to do if it happens again)
Avoid thinking and feeling upset about it by keeping busy and
avoiding anything or anyone that reminds you (helps you not to
become exhausted from remembering a trauma)
Be ‘on guard’ – you stay alert all the time, can’t relax, feel
anxious and can’t sleep (helps react quickly to another crisis).
Vivid memories = adrenaline levels high = feel tense, irritable,
unable to relax or sleep
Feel physical symptoms – aches and pains, diarrhoea, irregular
heartbeats, headaches, feelings of panic and fear, depression.
Start drinking too much alcohol or using drugs (including
• Schizophrenia is a disorder which affects thinking, feeling and
behaviour. It usually starts between the ages of 15 to 35 and
affects about 1 in every 100 people during their lifetime.
Aren’t known for sure. It’s likely that several different factors may
have an affect:
Genetic links - one in ten people with schizophrenia has a parent
with the condition.
Damage to the brain during pregnancy or birth.
Use of recreational drugs, including ecstasy, LSD, amphetamines
(speed), cannabis and crack.
Schizophrenia symptoms
“Positive” (represent a change in
behaviour, or thoughts ):
Delusions - believing something
completely even though others find your
ideas strange and can't work out how
you've come to believe them.
Difficulty thinking – finding it hard to
concentrate, drifting from one idea to
Feeling controlled – feeling as though
your thoughts are vanishing, that they‘re
not your own, or that your body is being
taken over and controlled by someone
Hallucinations - hearing, smelling,
feeling or seeing something that isn’t
there. Hearing voices is the most common
problem. The voices can seem utterly
real., they are more often rude, critical,
abusive or annoying.
“Negative” (represent loss of normal
thoughts, feelings or actions)
Loss of interest, energy and
emotions. You don't bother to get up or
go out of the house. You don't get round
to routine jobs like washing, tidying, or
looking after your clothes. You feel
uncomfortable with other people.
Some people hear voices without
negative symptoms. Others have
delusions but few other problems.
Personality disorder
It’s thought 1 in 10 people has some form of personality disorder.
You may have a personality disorder if:
Parts of your personality make it hard for you to live with yourself
and other people
Experience doesn’t teach you how to change the unhelpful parts of
You find it hard to make or keep relationships
You find it hard to control your feelings or behaviour
You find that you upset or harm other people because you’re
Some evidence that, similar to other mental disorders, genes, brain
problems and background can play a part.
Personality disorder: 3 sub-groups
Paranoid, suspicious of
other people, sensitive to
rejection, tendency to hold
Schizoid (unable to make
contact with other people,
preferring your own
company and developing a
rich fantasy world).
Schizotypal (have odd
ideas and difficulties with
thinking, see n as eccentric
and you may see or hear
strange things).
Emotional and impulsive
Antisocial (don't care about other people’s
feelings, get easily frustrated and aggressive, find
it difficult to develop close relationships, do things
on the spur of the moment without feeling guilty
and unable to learn from unpleasant
Emotionally unstable (do things without thinking
and find it hard to control emotions, may feel
empty inside or so bad they self-harm. Make
relationships quickly, but easily lose them. Can
also feel paranoid or depressed and may hear
noises or voices.
Histrionic (are self-centered and over-dramatise
events, emotions are strong, but change quickly,
worry a lot about appearance and crave
Narcissistic (crave success, power and status, seek
attention and tend to exploit others for self gain).
Personality disorder
Obsessive-compulsive (perfectionist,
worrying about the detail in
everything, cautious, find it hard to
make decisions, have high moral
standards, worry about doing the
wrong thing and judging other people,
sensitive to criticism and may have
obsessional thoughts and behaviours).
Avoidant (very anxious and tense,
worrying about insecurities, feel inferior
and want to be accepted, sensitive to
Dependent (rely on others to make
decisions and do what others want to
do, find it hard to cope with daily tasks,
feeling hopeless and incompetent and
easily feel abandoned by others).
Approx 1 million people/year
Around 6,000 in the UK and Ireland.
Number of young men committing suicide has increased over the past couple of
Women may be better at expressing and dealing with their distress.
Current social, financial and economic issues have put more pressure on men.
Factors leading to suicide
There’s rarely one single trigger, although there may be an important 'last
Genetic predisposition, personality trait or lack of support.
A long history of mental health problems, the main ones being depression,
eating disorders and schizophrenia.
Relationship problems
Other factors include physical illness (acute and chronic), alcohol and drug,
social isolation, housing, money and job problems.
The final straw may be the end of an important relationship, having to face
up to debt or a court case, losing one’s home or job, or simply an event that
stirs the emotions.
Suicidal feelings in children and
• Symptoms which may be due to depression include
moodiness, irritability, poor concentration, tearfulness and
being withdrawn. Loneliness, guilt and self-hatred can
lead to a feeling of hopelessness and despair.
• Changes in appearance, hygiene or health.
• More tired, have sleep problems, poor appetite and have
lost interest in their usual hobbies.
• Children often feel isolated, afraid of talking to their
family or friends and often don’t know who to turn to.
• Young children especially may find it hard to put into
words how they feel but instead act out their emotions in
a way that their family may not understand.
Suicidal feelings in children and
• They may have family problems – parents separating or who have
problems of their own such as money problems which the child feels,
inappropriately guilty about. Death of a grandparent or other family
member, neglect, abuse, isolation, bullying and physical illness are all
frequent triggers to teenage depression and suicide.
• Drug and alcohol use are increasingly common in teenagers and also play
a part in the development of depression and altered behaviour which
can lead to a suicide attempt.
• There were 1,722 adolescent and juvenile deaths by suicide in the UK
between 1997 and 2003, almost all were young people were aged 15-19,
three-quarters were male and overall, the most common methods of
suicide were hanging, followed by self-poisoning.
• Younger women are more likely to resort to deliberate self-harm and
attempted suicide, rather than suicide itself.
Talking therapies (group therapy, counselling or psychotherapy which helps
remember events, make sense of them and move on)
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps to think differently about your
memories, so that they become less distressing and more manageable. It involves
relaxation to help you tolerate the discomfort of recalling the traumatic events.
Eye movement desensitisation & reprocessing (EMDR, PTSD) - uses eye
movements to help the brain to process flashbacks and to make sense of the
traumatic experience.
Essential to help them understand, how they can deal with the underlying
problems in their life and how they can develop a more positive view of their
Like adults, children with depression can't just 'snap out of it' or 'pull themselves
Children usually respond fairly quickly to treatment. Antidepressants are rarely
needed. Most children can be treated at home or as a hospital outpatient, so
rarely need to stay in hospital.
Barriers to mental health helpseeking in young elite athletes
(Gulliver, Griffiths &
Christensen; 2012)
• Stigma: perceived as being weak (males), leads to those
working with athletes not referring them to a mental
health professional, embarrassment, media impact
• Worry about what others will think (coach, teammates
and family/ friends)
• Lack of mental health literacy (not knowing about mental
health disorders or what the symptoms are or when/
where to seek help)
• GP relationship
• Lack of self-recognition (others recognising it before them)
• Negative past experiences of help-seeking (problem
relating to the provider or breech of confidentiality)
• Time constraints (no money or transport)
Facilitators to mental health helpseeking in young elite athletes
(Gulliver, Griffiths &
Christensen; 2012)
• Having an established relationship with a provider
(already knowing a counsellor or doctor)
• Being aware of your feelings and being able to
express them, emotional competence
• Encouragement from others
• Positive attitudes of others (especially coach, family
and friends)
• Pleasant previous experiences
• Access to internet and online mental health services.
• You are NOT a mental health expert
• You are in a position of trust
• You may be that ONE person who a young
person opens up to
Your role is to:
Assess for risk of suicide or harm
Listen non-judgmentally
Give reassurance and information
Encourage appropriate professional help
Encourage self-help and other support
GP is the gate keeper to all Mental
health services
Online resources
• Mood Gym
• Beating the blues
Other Resources
• Feel the Fear and Do it anyway: How to turn your fear and indecision
into confidence and action (Susan Jeffers, CD AND BOOK)
• The Power of Positive Thinking (Norman Vincent Peale, CD and book)
• Yoga Conditioning For Athletes [DVD] Rodney Yee
• 3 of I Can Do It: How To Use Affirmations To Change Your Life (Louise L.
Hay, Joan Perrin-Falquet)
• How to lift depression ...Fast (The Human Givens Approach) (Joe Griffin,
Ivan Tyrrell)
• Overcoming Anxiety (Helen Kennerley)
• I Can't Stop Crying: It's So Hard When Someone You Love Dies (John D.
Martin, Frank D. Ferris)
• Dealing with depression: Trusting God through the Dark Times. (Sarah
Collins & Jayne Haynes)
Academic Sources
1 Ljungqvist A, Jenoure P, Engebretsen L, Alonso JM, Bahr R, Clough A, et al. The International Olympic Committee (IOC)
consensus statement on periodic health evaluation of elite athletes (March 2009). Br J Sports Med 2009; 43:631–
2 Cresswell SL, Eklund RC. Athlete burnout: a longitudinal qualitative investigation. Sport Psychol 2007; 21: 1–20.
3 Peluso M, deAndrade LH. Physical activity and mental health: the association between exercise and mood. Clinics
2005; 60: 61–70).
4 Reardon CL, Factor RM. Sport psychiatry: a systematic review of diagnosis
and medical treatment of mental illness in athletes. Sports Med 2010; 40:
5 Sundgot-Borgen J, Torstveit MK. Aspects of disordered eating continuum in elite high-intensity sports. Scand J Med Sci
Sports 2010; 20: 112–21.
6 Schwenk TL. The stigmatisation and denial of mental illness in athletes. Br J Sports Med 2000; 34: 4–5.
7 Devitt BM, McCarthy C. Review: ‘I am in blood Stepp’d in so far . . .’: ethical dilemmas and the sports team doctor. Br J
Sports Med 2010; 44: 175–8.
8 Lisha NE, Sussman S. Relationship of high school and college sports participation with alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug
use: a review. Addict Behav 2010; 35: 399–407).
9 Gulliver, Griffiths & Christensen. Barriers and facilitators to mental health help-seeking for young elite athletes: a
qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry, 2012; 12: 157
10 Corrado D, Basso C, Rizzoli G, Schiavon M, Thiene G. Does sports activity enhance the risk of sudden death in
adolescents and young adults? J Am Coll Cardiol 2003;42:1959–1963
11 Hughes L, and Leavey, G. Setting the bar: athletes and vulnerability to mental illness. British Journal of Psychiatry
2012; 200: 95-96.
promoting the ‘Code’
Oifigeach Leanaí
What is Safeguarding?
It may be defined as Doing everything Possible
to minimise the risk of harm to children and
young people.
GAA Clubs have a Duty of Care and should aim
to proactively safeguard and promote the
welfare of children so that the need for action to
protect children from harm is reduced.
Voluntary organisations and individual volunteers have
a duty of care to each other and others who may be
affected by their activities.
• Civil law and the duty of care
There is first and foremost a moral obligation on
anyone who is involved with children to provide them
with the highest possible standard of care.
There is secondly a legal responsibility, under the
common law Duty of Care, for all organisations to take
reasonable steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of
the children in their care.
4 Essential Steps to Being a Safe Club
1. Appoint suitable Children’s Officer and
Designated Person
2. Promote the ‘Code’
3. ACCESS NI compliant /Safe recruitment and
management of volunteers
4. Child Protection Awareness training
1. Appoint a Children’s Officer
Official Guide - Part 1
Appendix 4
Club Constitution and Rules
7.1 The Executive Committee shall be
comprised of the Chairperson, ViceChairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Registrar,
Officer for Irish Language and Culture, Public
Relations Officer, Children’s Officer, one
Players’ Representative, and at least five other
Full members.
Responding to Concerns
• Poor Practice /Breach of the ‘Code’
internal matter
• Allegation / suspicion of abuse
external and internal matter
Promote the Sport specific
guidance in the “Code”
• 1. Principles: To promote a child
centred approach
• 2. People: To maintain an
enjoyable and safe environment
• 3. Policy & procedures: To
facilitate and encourage best
• 4. Practice: To create a
framework for good practice, to
protect children and their
• 5. Protection: To eliminate
negative practices to ensure safe
and enjoyable participation in
children's sport
Code of Behaviour
• Young Players
• Coaches, Mentors and Trainers
• Parents / Guardians
• Supporters
• Referees
• The Club / County
Fair play, Respect, Equality, Safety
No Discrimination
GAA Tackling
Recruitment and management of
• It is through the good management of
volunteers that your Club can be most
effective in protecting children.
• You cannot rely on the fact that a person is
known to an existing volunteer as evidence
that they are not a potential abuser.
All volunteers working with children and young
people must complete Access NI
Ensuring your Club is a safe Club
Step 4
Safeguarding Children &
Young People In the GAA
Kathryn Anderson – 2013
Oifeigeach Leaneí
Tyrone County
• Prioritise Children’s needs
• Promote the development of
leadership skills in our youth
• Promote initiatives that
support our young peoples
development e.g.
Forming partnerships (PHA) to
support young peoples mental
Promote the GAA Tackling
Bullying national campaign.
Making safeguarding information
accessible to your Club
Mental Emotional Wellbeing
Role of the Gatekeepers
Brendan Bonner
Public Health Agency
PHA Training Plan
PHA Intervention Model
Capacity &
signs &
& accessible
Using &
Building the
Test new
ways if
doesn’t exist
Safety Net
Tier 1 - Basic Awareness Training
 Mental Health Awareness
 Resilience Training e.g Bounce; B+
 SuicideTALK
Tier 2 Knowledge and
Skills Training
Mental Health First Aid
Understanding Self Harm
Tier 3 – Intervention Training
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
STORM (Skills based Training On Risk
Management) delivered by BMC
Tier 4 – Training for Trainers (T4T)
 Regional Approach
 Mental Health First Aid
 safeTALK
Target Groups
 GPs & Primary Care staff
 Accident & Emergency staff
 Relevant Managers (HSC
frontline sector)
 HR Personnel (HSC sector)
 Accredited sports coaches
 Those working with survivors
of abuse
 Community Gatekeepers
 Church (religious/faith
Key influencers of young
people e.g. teachers, youthworkers
Those who work with people
who have mental health
PSNI custody officers
Frontline prison staff with
‘inmate listeners’ (cross-ref
to PHA Prison Thematic Plan)
Remember there is HELP out there
Sport can be Supportive & Fun
Club Structures
• Stephen McHugh – County Youth Chairperson
Childrens Officer
Youth Chairperson
Coaching Officer
Youth Managers
Schools Liason
Vice Chairperson
Schools Liaison Officer
Increasingly, the role of Club/School Liaison
officer and the Club/school link is becoming one
of the key roles in helping to develop Gaelic
Games in the Club. All clubs should ensure that
there is a Club/school link in operation in order
to promote the games in the local schools.
School Liaison Officer for Tyrone GAA
Adrian Nugent
Contact: [email protected]
How to develop
in young players
Brendan Harpur
Format of Presentation
Empowerment versus “Self Doubt”
Developmental stages of the young player
Influence of the Coach
Some guidelines for coaches
Self Belief versus Self Doubt
Self Doubt
I am no good at this
I might make a mistake
I’ll never learn
I must be stupid
I might get it wrong
I am scared
What will others think
I could never do that
Definition of Empowerment
Empowerment is a description of a continuous learning process
where an individual deals appropriately with any situation in the
following manner:
• Decides to make him/herself aware of their capabilities (skill,
knowledge and attitudes) and what is appropriate in any situation
they encounter.
• Decides to be aware if their response was appropriate.
• Decides what they need to learn from this experience.
• Decides to action their decision to learn.
• Implements the action.
• Decides to be aware of what they are learning and how they are
learning it.
• An individual who increasingly decides to go through this learning
process is in my opinion a ‘personally empowered person.’
Stages of Development
• 4-6
• Just coming out of the stage ‘I can do it all myself’. Difference can
be between race, gender with awareness and acceptance. Sibling
rivalry is strong. Thinking is concrete, magical, timeless,
• 6-10
• Here there is increase in thinking for themselves and adjusting to
groups, a rapid acquisition of skills, i.e.’ the golden age of learning’
More open to a sense of a need to learn
• 10-12/13
• Surge in confidence. Can move into love/hate situations black and
white world. A mixture of rivalry and identification with parents.
Not sure of identity despite protests to contrary. Embarrassment
more accurately fits.
Children Need
• Stimulation
– The stimulation they get from T.V., play stations, coke and crisps is short lived
and useless. They need to engage with their environment with their friends,
they need to participate.
• Attention
– Every child needs the attention to become mature healthy adults They need to
hear their name, and get positive feedback after their effort. Attention needs
to be personal and genuine.
• Competition
– Once a skill is learned, it must be tested. Children need competition but not
on adult form. Small sided games, first to ten, how many in a minute, first to 7
in a row etc. Competition must always be fair.
• Studies from America show that only 3 out of every 10 are having these
needs met. They are not getting the nurturing attention that they need to
grow into mature adults.
• Children need a coach who will give them proper nurturing attention at
every training session.
Self Image – Self Concept
• A child’s mind is full of questions.
• The greatest of these is ‘Who am I’, ‘What kind of
person am I’ and ‘Where do I fit in?’
• Because of this, the child’s mind is remarkably affected
by statements for others that begin with ‘You are’
• For one it is ‘you are so good at...’ for another ‘you are
so lazy and useless’.
• These statements from ‘big’ people go straight into the
child’s unconsciousness.
• From there, they affect the persons self image for the
rest of their lives.
• Adults are hypnotising children from the earliest age,
so we better do it well.
‘The Dog Whisperer’ Ceasar Milan
• Dogs and children pick up on the energy of their adults and their
behaviour reflects the adults state of mind.
• His aim is that the dog should be happy. For this to happen the
owner must be calm and assertive.
• When the coach is calm it brings a positive energy that children like
and want to be near.
• When the coach is calm and assertive they becomes the leader of
the pack. The pack feel a warm welcoming energy that relaxes
them. They accept the leader because of their assertiveness. i.e.
they know what to do they will meet the needs of the children
(stimulation, attention, competition)
• They will be organised, the task will match the ability of the children
it will be exciting and energising. The children will learn because the
sessions are framed to achieve stimulation, attention, competition
Ceasar’s three golden rules:
When the children understand these and have them agreed
and signed by their parents /guardians they will feel secure
and safe.
The coach must train to be CALM & ASSERTIVE, a difficult
The coach’s main aim is create happy lively alert players/
Demands a lot of an adult and can trigger any weakness in
their personality,
To be leader then you must make whatever changes are
Mind your language!!!!!
Which of the following
statements is most likely to
result in you sponsoring me
for £5 to support my GAA
Sponsor me £5 to support my GAA
I want £5 sponsorship towards my club
I would like you to sponsor me for £5
I need you to sponsor me £5
I would appreciate it if you sponsored me £5
You must sponsor me for £5
I am telling you to sponsor me the £5
Would you consider sponsoring me for £5
You are expected to sponsor me for £5
•I want -------•I would like you to ------•I need you to ---------•I would appreciate it if you -----•You must ---------•I am telling you to -------------•Would you consider ---------•You are expected to --------------
“It’s the way I tell them!”
• Positive wording makes competent children.
• Mostly we have inherited a negative way of giving commands.
Father to a 9 year old son with a jug of milk full to the brim
“Whatever you do don’t spill the milk”
• Coaches should think first and understand what outcome they
want and find the words most likely to cause that to happen.
• “Good man Stephen, steady now, take your time I’ll move the
chair out of the way”
• Saying what we don’t want done is not going to be effective.
A Few Examples
• Of course the coach sees some children
Drop the ball or Over carry
• But never ever uses words like ‘drop’ ‘over
carry’ because that goes straight to the
unconscious as a command.
• “Avoid using the word DON’T”
“Say what you want them to do”
• ‘Great Catch’, ‘Try again’, ‘use your fingers’,
‘eye on the ball’, ‘jump towards the ball’,
• To raise motivation ‘what a catch’, ‘wow’,
‘brilliant’, ’10 in a row’, ‘look at that’ with an
exciting tone, ‘I knew you’d do it’
• It takes 20 positives to undo the damage
done by one negative. That’s part of being
Effective Coaches
• Only tell players things they have no way of
discovering it for themselves.
• Do more “Asking than Telling”
• Reinforce the positive
• “Catch players doing things right”
• Make learning a “FUN” experience
You will be the footballer/hurler you think you are!!!!
So think positively !!!!
• You are what you believe you are. If you believe you
are a good footballer /hurler you will act that way.
• If you believe you are not a good footballer/hurler you
will also act that way.
• If you believe you are good at some aspect of your
game you will be confident in doing it.
• If you believe you are weak at some aspect of your
game you will lack confidence and when you make a
mistake this will tend to re- enforce your belief that
you are not good at something.
• Therefore what you think and believe affects your
Counter Negative Self Talk
• “It’s not like me to make a mistake like that”
• What did you do well?
• What’s the best game you ever played?
Coaching Real Winners
• ‘De-emphasize winning and re-emphasize
attaining personal goals.
• This principle is the key to meeting a player’s
needs to feel worthy—not only to maintain
their self-worth but also to develop it further.
• This principle is essential in enhancing the
motivation of your players.’
Top Basketball coaches in the
U.S.A use 25 positive
reinforcements to one area
requiring improvement!!!
Empowering Statements
• I am proud of my past achievements and I am confident
about my future performance.
• I take control of a game
• I maintain the maximum work rate during matches and in
• I am effective at tackling and dispossessing an opponent.
• I bring other players into the game
• I am very skilful at taking my opponent on
• I am an accurate passer of the ball.
• I am a Team Player
• I am very effective in winning the ball
• I am accurate at taking scores either from play or from
Any questions?
• Develop Self Belief in players
• Children need Rules, Attention and Competition
• Communicate to players what you want them to
• Its how you tell them
• Coaching is more about “Asking” Than Telling
• Use positive and empowering statements
• Encourage young players to use positive and
empowering statements about themselves

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