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Guide to Understanding Your Environment

With this comprehensive guide on the Coach Learning Framework's ‘Understanding your Environment’ theme – jam-packed with practical tips, ideas, and the key points you'll need to start putting what you learn into practice – you'll discover how you can create an environment that is enjoyable and provides diverse experiences with the aim of developing well-rounded individuals, and that makes everyone feel valued, supported and welcome

The coaching environment is not just the physical spaces in which activity takes place: there is so much more to consider and understand.

With this guide – exclusive for UK Coaching Club Subscribers  – you’ll explore all these considerations through the pillars that comprise this theme and discover how they can help you create an ideal learning environment in which individuals can develop and thrive.

  • Holistic thinking and working as part of a team: learn how to meet your participants' personal, emotional, social, psychological, physical, and cognitive needs.
  • Developing independent learners: provide the right balance of challenge and support to encourage your participants to take ownership of their own development.


  • Talent identification and development: understand the importance of creating a flexible and supportive environment to enable participants to maximise their potential.
  • Understanding age and stage of development: explore the impact of age and stage of development on your participants.
  • Transitions: learn how to support your participants through a variety of transitions, including into new coaching environments.


Have a think about growing some flowers and how you create a nurturing environment for the flower. The physical spaces will be important: the quality of soil, whether they are in the shade or direct sun, and where in the garden you place them. But other factors are also crucial.

The care and attention of the gardener in watering, pruning, weeding, and feeding makes a difference. So do the other plants around them, as not getting overgrown or competing for space and light against more established plants makes it easier for the new plant. Lastly, consider the weather: is it damp and dark or sunny and warm?

If our flowers do not bloom or wilt, we need to look at the whole environment. In our coaching, we need to consider and understand a range of factors that contribute to how effective our environments are, both for our participants and for us as coaches.


As you start to consider your environments think about all the elements that contribute to it. Use the following areas as prompts:

  • The coach/leader(s): the role they play in creating and facilitating a positive environment (and with others who help or support delivery).
  • The other people in the team: roles, responsibilities and inter-connection.
  • The physical space: training venue, clubhouse or performance area.
  • The activity: training, practice, activity or competition session.
  • The participants: their development, learning and progress.
  • The culture: ‘how things are done around here’ – language, traditions, habits.
  • The wider community: family, friends and fellow participants.


Then have a look at your list and think about which elements do you, can you or have to:

  • Control: things that are within your control in the role that you do, such as the theme you choose for a practice session.
  • Influence: things you may be able to influence, such as by increasing your access to training time or exploring different facilities.
  • Accept: things beyond your control or influence, such as a thunderstorm that delays the start of your game by an hour.

Become part of the exclusive UK Coaching Club to unlock this guide and you'll also gain access to 50 templates, podcasts, tips, videos, webinars, infographics, and expert opinions on the ‘Understanding Your Environment’ theme of the Coach Learning Framework, including:

When you have increased your understanding of your environment with this guide, as well as the accompanying resources you'll unlock by becoming a UK Coaching Club Subscriber, you’ll be able to improve your coaching impact, get better results and derive greater enjoyment from your coaching.

To unlock this full resource, you need to become a UK Coaching Club Premium Member.

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