Can vision and spatial awareness be coached in hurling?

I’m depressed about 2017 and the hurling set up so I want to start a different thread. Lots of us are involved in coaching hurling. We want the skills to be as automatic as possible, so that players can think on their feet about the match that is unfolding in front of them. However, in relation to the player that sees a gap that others don’t, or plays a pass that others wouldn’t have spotted, can that be taught? Is it innate? Is it down to experience and skill only? What skill drills do you use to develop these skills?


Don’t use drills. Play modified games. Spot and fix/ question players during games about decisions they made and why. If you are really serious and have the means, video training sessions. Do stats on your training as much as you do stats in a match. Depends on age group also. Depends what level you are at and how far you want to go. It definitely can be developed. It more to do with coaching than training.


With kids U9-U11, at the end of training, we get them to play a version of Olympic Handball. Kid with the ball can’t move and can’t be touched, (s)he has to throw it to a team mate. Team mates aren’t allowed to call out names so the kid with the ball has to look up and look around. Give them 4-6 seconds to make the pass or possession is given to the other side.

They love it and it also teaches the kids without the ball to look for free space and move into it.


A rather simple drill we utilise is to not allow players to pass directly to their team mates. As in, they must play some sort of through ball where their teammate must run in order to receive the pass. What you get is, the players looking up to where their team mates are and where the space is near them. Opens up new pass ideas for them and their passing vision improves.

Often we find players who play soccer and rugby are better at this because of the nature of how they pass in their sport.