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UK Coaching Team
Self-care and development

Case Study: Using the Coaching Behaviours Cards

Case study exploring how the Coaching Behaviours Cards can be used to enhance coaching practice and in coach reflection. Richard Cheetham MBE, Senior Fellow in Sports Coaching at the University of Winchester, shares the experiences of the student coaches who used the cards

Over six weeks, the Coaching Behaviours Cards were used in applied practice sessions with Sports Coaching students from the University of Winchester. The importance of reflective practice in coaching, both in-action (as it was happening) and on-action (thinking back on what happened) proved to be significant throughout this period.

The Coaching Behaviours Cards offered an insight into how sessions can be:

  • more individualised
  • more collaborative
  • more interactive.

They also provided an opportunity to develop new ideas and encourage creativity.

Observations and feedback on using the cards

The reflective approach:

  • How they used the cards.
  • Why they were used.
  • The difference they made to the coaching process, the coaches and the participants.

They (all the cards) worked as guidelines as to how we shape a session and made us consider and remind us how individuals choose to and want to learn.”

When we used the Organised card, which asked you to ‘be positive and proactive in your approach,’ we said to ourselves to remember positive thoughts manifest into positive outcomes.”

The ‘high and wide’ game taught us about trial and error from the Engaging card. We spent a lot of time modifying the game to make it more inclusive, more challenging and develop skills, so we saw ‘mistakes’ as learning moments but were never afraid to change or to ask the opinions of the group.”

Two of the group couldn’t take part due to injury but they wanted to be involved, so the Empowering card really made us think how we needed to be adaptable and consider them more. The game we played needed ‘static catchers,’ which meant limited movement, so they joined in and had an important role to play. We think it made us all feel more of a team too.”

The cards really gave us an opportunity to have a ‘blank canvas’ on how to use them. The sessions became like a mini coaching laboratory. There was a real feeling of collaboration over the six weeks as everyone had the chance to give feedback, provide real ‘genuine and authentic’ reflection as well as recognise the value of their contribution. Students took the role as learners (participants) and coaches, so they worked ideally in terms of player and coach development resource.”

Any new intervention and new approach need to be given time to develop, so we invested time into ensuring that the principles of Empowering, Engagement, Person Centred, (being) Positive, Organised and Learning became good coaching habits. There is great potential in using these cards to guide and influence coaching practice. We only skimmed the surface of creative thinking and positive change.

Related Resources

  • Coaching Behaviours Cards

  • Coaching Behaviours

  • Behaviour Bitesize Blog: 1.1 Person-centred


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