Jim Gavin takes on the toughest challenge of every underage coach in the country 3 months ago

Jim Gavin takes on the toughest challenge of every underage coach in the country

He can do it with the Dublin seniors alright but how would he fare with a group of boisterous nine-year-olds?

Because boys will be boys and kids will be kids. The toughest challenge facing every underage coach in the country is bringing order and encouraging focus in a bunch of youngsters who really, just want to have a bit of fun.

These hyper juveniles are not going over to the field with aims, ambitions and targets of getting a certain degree of work done. At that age, for them first of all, it's all about making a few pals, having a bit of craic with these pals and getting to kick the odd football or puck the odd ball around the place.

For the coach, it's all about striking the balance between the work and play. Give these lads an inch, and they'll take a mile and you can do nothing but watch on as your training session quickly descends into organised chaos and a GAA version of Cheaper By The Dozen.

You can't lose them for a second because they will exploit you, and quickly, too.

So while there's no benefit in being too rigid, you can't provide the pupils with immunity either.

And that's the difference between a senior and a juvenile coach. Where the prerequisite for being an underage mentor is patience and self-control, for the adult tutor, there is more emphasis on the method than the madness.

It's no wonder they often say that being an under-8 coach is like managing a class room.

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So Dublin senior football manager Jim Gavin took a step out of his usual place of residence on Thursday evening when he took the St. Sylvester's under-9s for a session in Broomfield.

The Malahide club shared a video of the former military cadet and pilot in full swing as he coached his students the value of the outside hand hand-pass.

Gavin encountered the struggles that all of these coaches around the country face. From the difficulties in setting the drill up to getting the youth to practice the skill correctly while retaining their focus.

Club secretary Fergal McStay was present for Gavin's session and he spoke of told us just how obliging and patient Gavin was with the youngsters.

"It certainly wasn't a show and go. He stayed with the kids for over two hours, coaching four or five different groups of them. He really got into it and it was just a real measure of the man how good he was with them.

"Coaching them the skills of the game and then he stayed around to sign autographs for them as well. It was great for the lads and even for our coaches as well," he said to SportsJOE.

Fair play to Jim.