Reflecting Upon My Own Coaching Session

I have never been comfortable in hearing my own voice being played back over and having to reflect/analyse upon my own coaching delivery is very much out of my comfort zone. However, the fact that I want to develop further and to the best possible level as a coach I felt this would be a great time to conquer my fears and reflect back upon my coaching delivery and how I went about coaching a session. This way I can learn about myself and use theory to guide my development as new ideas will be shaped which I can then implement into my next coaching session to enable me to improve and overcome my areas of weakness. I have decided to split my reflection of my delivery into 2 sections which are strengths and weaknesses. The video(s) of my coaching session can be viewed by clicking on the following link:

Strengths:

Having re watched my coaching delivery there are many significant positive aspects I can see from my coaching. The first strength that stands out is I have very good communication skills. Not only am I clear and loud in what I am saying, I am very respectful in my delivery and clearly highlight what the participants job is to do. The message is straight to the point which tells the players what the main goal of the activity is and what outcome is needed. I construct my delivery which shows how the outcome of the session can be achieved.  Having picked this out as a strength, I researched what the key qualities of a coach should be to get the best performance out of the participants. Reading around various articles and books, I came across an article which supports my first strength. It states it is ‘essential that the coach express themself in a clear, open and respectful way that engages clients and builds awareness around processes, roles, goals, and strategies to achieve to create a positive coach-player relationship’ (Fitzpatrick, 2015). By doing this, it allows performers to see improvements which will then have a positive effect on their motivation.

In addition, having watched my mini coaching session, it is clearly evident that I have a very positive coaching behavior. Being very positive when delivering a session is vital as it shows the participants how confident you are as well as having a huge impact on player motivation and self confidence. If the coach had a negative behavior then the players would be less likely to perform to the best of their ability and wouldn’t see any improvements as quickly. Outlaw and Toriello state that ‘positive or supportive behaviors as well as frequency of task correction increase motivation and satisfaction’ (Outlaw and Toriello, 2014) therefore indicating that in the mini coaching session I delivered, I have a positive effect on player satisfaction and motivation which will then increase the players learning and understanding of the task.

Another strength that is predominant in my coaching session is that I have added some progressions to make the warm up more challenging. Although this mini session was only a warm up, many coaches don’t progress the warm up further and I feel it is very important to do this as it focuses the players more and engages them from the start ready for the session. Knowing how to progress an activity can be a very difficult challenge and one which sometimes I as a coach struggle with, however having to create a warm up session on the spot and also knowing what progressions to use to challenge my performers I feel is a very important skill for player development.

 

Weaknesses/Areas for Improvement:

The first weakness that stood out when reviewing the video of my coaching session was the amount of acknowledgement I give out rather than praise. This brings me onto the discussion of acknowledgement vs praise. I found a very useful and relevant video on YouTube which clearly differentiates the 2 areas of feedback. The video link is:

This video links in perfectly with the footage of my coaching session. I tend to ‘appreciate’ what the performers are doing by stating ‘super’ or ‘keep going’ rather than actually praising them for the work they are carrying out. Instead of using this vocabulary, I need to start praising/rewarding the performers for the good work they have carried out. relating back to my coaching session, I could have rewarded an individual with a certain number of points or a free turn over of a cone for the effort level they are working out. This way, I would have been praising what the player has done rather than just acknowledging their good work. This way it will improve player motivation and they will have a high level of self confidence because they are being praised positively and rewarded for their work.

Relating back to my last blog post on Linear vs Non-Linear pedagogy, it is clearly visible that when I am coaching I fall in the Linear category where the session is very criteria led with lots of technical demonstrations and very repetitive i.e they are performing the same activity and movements over and over again until this is mastered. What I need to start focusing my coaching sessions more on is Dynamical Systems Theory of Non-Linear Pedagogy in the idea that ‘one size can’t fit all’ and the ‘notion of configuration of play and its ever-changing shape, namely through phases of contraction and expansion, and its moving location on the court or the field’ (Gréhaigne and Godbout, 2014). What this is implying and why this piece of theory is relevant to my area of improvement is that they changing of the size of the court/field, the changing shape of the activity and contracting/expanding is all key components a player needs to work on and this will get them thinking more about the task outcome and place more ownership on themselves to work out the task in hand. This way, they will create a better understanding of the skills and techniques involved and they will learn more about the fundamentals of the sport his way rather then using a Linear Pedagogy style of approach.

In conclusion, it is clearly apparent that my coaching holds many strengths and I am competent enough to carry out a successful coaching session, however for me as a coach to progress to the next level and create a more player learning environment I need to change the mindset in which I coach to place more emphasis of ownership on the players rather than myself as the coach to enable them to learn and improve in the best possible way which suits them as a player/person.

 

Reference List:

Fitzpatrick, M. (2015) ‘THE COMPETENT COACH – KEY CHARACTERISTICS.’, Training & Development, , pp. 24–26.

Gréhaigne, J.-F. and Godbout, P. (2014) ‘Dynamic systems theory and team sport coaching’, Quest, 66(1), pp. 96–116.

Outlaw, K.R. and Toriello, P.J. (2014) ‘The impact of coaches“ behavior on African American female athletes” playing satisfaction: A cursory review of the literature’, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 24(5), pp. 612–620.

 

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One thought on “Reflecting Upon My Own Coaching Session

  1. Good stuff Sam, it’s good to see you really starting to identify where you feel you can improve as a coach – especially with regards to trying to be as player centred as possible. You’re clearly taking on board and considering different theories/approaches and comparing them with what you do/have done. It will be interesting seeing your views on this week’s supplementary task as it links with what you’ve identified in terms of linear/criteria led sessions. Keep up the good work.

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