Sport Off the Ball

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Cooper's disastrous injury underlines need to work on blocking

Colm Parkinson

Published 19/02/2014 | 02:30

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15 February 2014; Colm Cooper, Dr. Crokes, after receiving an injury, he was subsequently taken off. AIB GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Club Championship, Semi-Final, Castlebar Mitchels, Mayo v Dr. Crokes, Kerry. O'Moore Park, Portlaoise, Co. Laois. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Colm Cooper, Dr. Crokes, after receiving an injury, he was subsequently taken off

GAA fans around the country are still coming to terms with the sad reality that we won't see Colm Cooper in championship action this summer.

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Having looked at the incident countless times over, I think it's fair to say that it was a dangerous and reckless tackle that contributed to his cruciate injury last weekend.

Blocking is a dying art in Gaelic football. From my own experience at senior level, only one manager worked on blocking with us at training – and that was at club level. The skill requires timing, technique and courage.

Attempting to block Gooch from that angle and at that speed was risky and the Castlebar player turned his body the wrong way, which meant his shoulder and back collided with Gooch's legs.

This incident highlights the need for managers to put greater emphasis on practising skills like blocking at training.

A good block can be inspirational and lift a team, much like a well-timed shoulder to shoulder challenge.

However, technique and timing need to be executed correctly and that won't happen without practice and coaching.

Irish Independent

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