When the Limerick Senior Hurling Team went on strike in early 2010, nobody in their right mind could have envisaged such a stark turnaround within such a short space of time. Multiple All-Ireland winning goalkeeper Nicky Quaid was part of a young batch of outfield players drafted in by then manager Justin McCarthy to make up a squad when most of the previous year’s squad went on strike in support of a couple of senior players who were dropped from the panel. It resulted in Limerick being relegated to Division 2 that Spring after a 31 point mauling by Dublin. The unfortunate context to this is that it was considered that they had squandered what were considered a golden generation of players at senior level after winning three All-Ireland U21 championships in a row in the early 2000's. Urgent change was needed!
When we think about the best coaches, we think about coaches who consistently get their teams to win, but more importantly, to improve. If we are to look at some of the top coaches, a few spring to mind across a variety of sports. Rinus Michels was the famous Ajax coach that won numerous championships, a European Cup, and a La Liga title before going on to lead the Dutch team to the European Championship win in 1988.
Performance psychologist - accredited with Irish Institute of Sport