So where to start? This was same question I asked myself when first starting this reflective coach module. 6 months later, many experiences later and so much learning later, but has anything actually changed?
Again this post has got me reflecting on my overall coaching journey that I have engaged in over the past 6 months. 6 months previous to this date and I can openly admit reflection wasn’t a process I used within my coaching, I turned up delivered a session, went home and had forgotten about it a few hours later. This process has been turned completely on its head, the reflection process based around WHY I do things the way I do has been extremely important to my delivery and future sessions and overall myself as a coach.
Okay, so I have roles and responsibilities but what actually makes me a good ‘coach’? Throughout the last 6 months I have been able to reflect critically to delve into how to continuously develop as a coach. But how have I been able to do this? Well, throughout the year attending lectures and putting things into practice has seen me develop an understanding around theories of coaching and how they can be applied. This process has helped me to shape values and beliefs around my own coaching philosophy and how these theories apply to my coaching. This process isn’t just to develop me but how can I maximise the learning of my players? How can I make them the best they can be? again these questions are all me reflecting on my application to coaching and what I can do to develop myself and my players.
But in what ways have I developed? Before beginning the second year of my degree study I can openly admit to being a one dimensional coach, just doing things to pass the session, not understanding coaching process’ and overall not understanding the WHY. The reflection process has now enabled me to create an environment where players are the best teachers, by this I mean players being creative, problem solving, taking responsibility to their own learning through a game based approach. Buzz words I know, but this process has been shown to show the greatest development process throughout my coaching journey.Providing players with the opportunity to explore situations and fail has also been a process I have engaged in, rather than this is how you do it I have began to use a questioning approach to challenge understanding and learning. Which has show to develop player independence.
So what do these sessions look like? Well, messy… but 100% 6 months ago I would have been afraid to create sessions like this, too afraid of opinions of others, too afraid of my own ability as a coach and too afraid to fail my players. But again going back to the WHY of doing things has create a changed environment for me and my players. The understanding of the process creates an opportunity for players to attempt things without being afraid of failure, without limiting their potential by being afraid to be creative. Which has helped to create a more enjoyable environment to be in. This goes without saying the players have to be on the same page, again understanding the WHY they may do things, how they may do things through trial and error. This process has pushed players to become more independent with myself becoming more of a modern coach/mentor rather than an old school instructor.
“You just don’t know how good you are” a quote taken from the film die hard reflects well on the process I have undertaken over the last 6 months of this module. The development as a coach is not a overnight process, it is a long, stressful yet rewarding process which through deep and regular reflection has helped to contribute to this process. Understanding the WHY is a key message I have taken from this module, understanding my strengths, weaknesses and areas of development has been key to reflection to which this module has enabled me to store new areas of knowledge to create a deeper understanding of how different process link to my coaching.
Overall this reflective module has been an extremely beneficial process that has opened my eyes to being more open minded as a coach. It has led me to achieving greater understanding based around my own coaching, now the reflection has begun, it will never end!.