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Templemore PEP Event a Resounding Succces


The Institute of Sport’s Pursuit of Excellence Programme (PEP) delivered an intensive two-day problem based learning workshop tailored for Horizon programme coaches focusing on Coach Communication skills from 20-21 June.

The workshop was facilitated by the Institute of Sport and An Garda Síochána at the Garda Training College, Templemore in Tipperary. Sixteen high performance coaches from a wide variety of sports attended the event which aimed to achieve the following learning objectives within the realm of coach communication:


  • To develop a detailed understanding of the primary skills involved in effective coach communication
  • To develop a conceptual understanding of the situation demands and considerations of effective communication in elite coaching environments
  • Gain an understanding of coach personality types and the subsequent considerations this brings to the coaching domain with specific reference to communication
  • Through an experiential scenario based approach gain an understanding of personal strengths and areas for development in practical communication situations

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PEP Coaches participating in group work activities



The event commenced with an introduction from the Institute’s PEP consultants David Passmore and Daragh Sheridan.  Key objectives for the two days were outlined followed by an ice-breaker session on verbal and non-verbal communication. Dr. Pat Murray then led an insightful and thought provoking activity based on defining key communication skills. The coaches debated the variety of techniques and skills essential to successful communication.


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Mentor Rory Fitzpatrick (Sailing) observing the scenarios in action with a Garda expert


This session was followed by the first of two role-plays the coaches would complete over the course of the event.  Coaches were presented with scenarios that are commonplace within the field of high performance coaching. The scenarios were designed to place the coaches in an environment that tested their communication skills based on what they had learned during the key skills mapping and communication activities conducted throughout the day. On both days the scenarios were followed by a debrief session which offered the coaches a chance to reflect with their peers and mentors on how effectively they utilised their communication skills.  One PEP coach highlighted that:

“Role play environment was a brilliant learning environment”


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PEP Coaches engaged in communication skills task


Day two of the event focused on awareness of the ‘self’. The coaches covered the important aspects of personalities, and specifically the importance of understanding how different traits and behaviours can affect communication. Again the coaches then participated in individual scenarios that further tested their communication skills.

The event also served to further strengthen the bonds between high performance coaches from across a variety of sports.  The development of this community has been critical in ensuring knowledge is and can be shared amongst the coaches in order to see real learning arising from PEP. One coach reflected:

“What a fantastic two days – I feel like what I learned should normally take a much longer time. Really enjoyed being in the company of fantastic coaches and trainers”


The workshop concluded with a feedback session in which the coaches were encouraged to critique the overall experience. The coaches unanimously agreed that the event had both met and exceeded expectations. The positive feedback reinforces the importance of the Pursuit of Excellence Programme in providing exceptional high performance coach education and support.  Reflecting on the event coaches were full of praise for the learning experience:

“What a fantastic event and after some difficult personal experiences this event helped restore my confidence and self belief”


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