Jim Gavin used 'mili tary-style' training to catapult Dublin to All-Ireland glory

Jim Gavin

Mark O'Regan

Jim Gavin used Air Corps training to catapult his Dublin All-Ireland-winning team to new heights.

The Dublin manger, a former Air Corps pilot, has revealed how he employed military-style techniques to steer his team to victory over Kerry.

"My background has influenced me - and the military is all about influencing other people. It was the first thing I learned in military college.

"It's important to be in control of oneself; humility is a big part of what I promote in the players. If you remain static you just decline and people take over from you.


"I come from a culture in aviation where you're debriefed about something in a constructive way. It's about pointing out what somebody did well - but also what they can learn and improve on. It's about service, not self, and that sense of representing your community and discipline."

He also revealed how he could feel the energy "crackling" in the dressing room at half-time during last Sunday's final.

"It was really calm and composed. It was a focused dressing room. They were focused on the process. At half time there was never any talk of the outcome.

"It was about sticking with the process. There were very few and calm words said."

He also revealed how he is always striving to better himself through continuous learning.

"At home, I have a room full of books," he said. "I'm always flicking through them to pick up one or two bits every day, every week, to keep adding layer upon layer."

But he says the process of drawing up a game plan for the new Championship season has already begun.

"The game plan Dublin used four days ago will not be good enough next year - the challenge is that there is continuous growth. The day that we don't develop and grow is the day that we won't succeed."

He said his job and that of the background staff is to serve the players and "make them the best they can be."


He also stressed the importance of creating a culture for players to "express themselves", and to be able to speak up when they're unhappy with something.

"There aren't any financial rewards; it's all about pride and representing their community and parishes."

He said the biggest leadership quality he's learned while in football management is to be "completely honest with players." He was speaking at the 'Legendary Leadership Brings Success' business conference in the Aviva Stadium.