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Understanding Your Coaching Practice

Develop your practice to enhance the learning experience

In this theme of the Coach Learning Framework, you will find resources on:

  • Pedagogy. Explore how you can encourage participants to engage and support their development during your sessions.
  • How learning happens. Learn how to provide opportunities for participants to make decisions and develop self-awareness.
  • Creating a climate for learning. Consider how to create an environment in which participants feel safe and secure and can be themselves.
  • Developing independent learners. Support participants to take responsibility for their own development.
  • Values and cultural expectations. Understand the importance of creating an appropriate and supportive culture.
  • Effective communication. Consider how you can communicate more effectively during sessions.

Why is Understanding Your Coaching Practice Important in Coaching?

As a coach, your primary role is to help individuals improve and progress as people, participants and performers. To achieve this, you need to explore how learning happens, and understand what can help the people you coach to learn more effectively as they work towards goals that are relevant to them.

Your coaching practice is the toolkit that you can use to ensure that you’re being supportive, effective and proficient. It should include everything from the basic, underpinning principles of Plan, Do, Review, through to your practice design, communication tactics, and how you make observations and decisions to guide your feedback and support. The combination of these elements is what makes learning engaging and ‘sticky,’ creating ‘moments’ for the people you coach.

When you combine these ‘moments,’ your coaching practice, and the environment that you provide, you can create high quality holistic learning opportunities, maximising the experience for all.

Through the pillars below, find resources to help you on your journey to understanding coaching practice.

Understanding Pedagogy

Pedagogy is the combination of coaching methods, principles, practices, curriculum planning and design that coaches utilise to help participants engage and develop during sessions.

These form the patterns of your interactions with the people you coach, and the actions and activities in a particular environment based on your context.

Combining learning and coaching practice is the art of Great Coaching, and this in turn shapes the learning environment, providing an important framework and scaffold to reflect upon and from which you can start to reconsider your assumptions, beliefs and practices.

Understanding How Learning Happens

Individuals want to take responsibility for their own development and practice, and it is your responsibility to support them as they navigate their journey to being independent.

It is important for individuals to develop their own self-awareness and regulations as they take greater responsibility for their own development.

You need to offer the appropriate challenge and support to meet each individual's stage of development and needs and provide opportunities for them to make increasingly important decisions and choices.

Work with each individual and their support network to create a rich and high-quality experience in which regular and quality communication is essential, particularly around transitions into and out of different coaching environments, and 'pinch points' such as examinations, family challenges and moving schools.

Creating a Climate for Learning

Development is non-linear, and while few individuals make the transition into the performance arena, creating a flexible and supportive environment to enable all individuals to maximise their potential is key to Great Coaching. You are responsible for creating an environment in which participants feel safe and secure, are able to be themselves, and can thrive.

It's important to recognise the stage of development and appropriate progression for maturation status of everyone you coach, and to gain a wider understanding of the development pathway, how to support participants through transitions, and how to prepare the people you coach with wider holistic development.

    • What Happens When a Complaint is Made Against You

    • Preparing Your Participants to Perform

    • Understanding Turning Points to Improve Your Competition Coaching

    • The Impact of Role Models on Players and Coaches

    • Mental Health in Coaching

    • Coach Well-being: Ways to Boost Physical and Mental Health

    • The Impact of Role Models on Players and Coaches

    • Mental Health in Coaching

    • Questions for Effective Reflection


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Planning to Get Feedback from the People You Coach

As seeking and collating feedback can be time-consuming, it's important to be organised as well as creative. Take the time to outline key objectives, pick your moment and always have a plan in place


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Coach Learning Framework

The Coach Learning Framework has been created to help you design memorable and engaging great coaching experiences that meet the needs of all your participants, regardless of your sport or physical activity.

Understanding Your Coaching Practice is one of nine themes that comprise this insight-based framework.

Continue your journey through the framework to learn more about the other eight themes and the key attributes of high-quality coaching environments, and how you can demonstrate the skills, qualities and behaviours that will empower the people you coach to achieve their personal goals.