Gaelic Football Training Drills

Updated November 21, 2016

Gaelic football is one of Ireland's national games. Its rules and regulations are governed by the Gaelic Athletics Association(GAA), and the game's amateur status is central.

Gaelic football is similar to soccer, but there are some key differences. The ball is slightly smaller and heavier in Gaelic football, and there are different rules regarding the allowed handling of the ball and the scoring system. For example, if the ball goes over the bar, a point is scored; getting the ball through the two side bars results in a goal. Three points equal a goal.

Some Rules

There are 15 players on each team. In Gaelic football, there is no offside rule. If a player is fouled, his team gets a free kick. The player can carry the ball in his hands for only four steps. Then, he must "solo"; that is, drop the ball and kick it back into his hands or pass it, either by kicking it or hand-passing it to a teammate. As a result, a lot of training is devoted to repeated practice of this type of play.


Like many sports, Gaelic football requires the player to be fast, strong and have the stamina to play for 60 minutes. Exercises to improve upper-body strength, such as press-ups and pull-ups, are essential and must be mastered. The player also needs good cardiovascular fitness, so an important area of his training regime is running laps of the pitch.

Passing and Playing

Much of the training drill involves passing practice. The players will be lined up, and two will have to run a certain length as they pass to each other -- quickly and well. In other practice sessions, players will have to pass the ball, either by a kick or hand-pass, and will not be allowed to try to score until this has been done a given number of times. Players will also practice goalscoring and penalties.

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About the Author

Noreen Wainwright has been writing since 1997. Her work has appeared in "The Daily Telegraph," "The Guardian," "The Countryman" and "The Lady." She has a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences from Liverpool Polytechnic and a postgraduate law degree from Staffordshire University.