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UK Coaching Research Team
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How to Become a Reflective Coach

Four questions to help you reassess your approach to reflection and become a better coach

A team of academics in Canada conducted research to explore how four high level parasport coaches used creativity in their reflective practice, enabling them to enhance their own coaching and providing potential learning for coaches in any sport.

As a result of this research they found the coaches creative approach was something that may challenge coaches in both non-disabled and parasport environments to reconsider their own approaches to reflection.

  1. At the most simplistic level, ask yourself how often you reflect. Could you increase this in future? While the coaches in this study used reflection to overcome a number of challenges unique to parasport, their dedication to the technique indicates, as Jennifer Moon suggests, just what is required to reach and succeed in coaching at the highest performance levels. Often thought of as a personal, individual development tool, reflecting with others – as long as they are fully engaged in the process too – may provide coaches with a new method to learn from and develop each other. Reflection can then be a collective tool, rather than an individual process. Could you try reflecting alongside other people who are present in your coaching sessions, like other coaches, assistants or volunteers? You may enhance your learning by considering their perspective as well as your own (and vice versa).
  1. And related to what the researchers called the coaches’ wider networks, are there other people you could consider reflecting alongside, perhaps from your governing body of sport (ie coach educators or coach developers)? The wider the network of knowledge you can draw on, the more likely it is that you will enhance your coaching practice.

  2. Consider using a lens of adaptability in your own reflective techniques – have you tried looking beyond your own sport to see what learning you could take from coaches in other sports and contexts?

  3. Linked to the point above, if you coach in non-disabled sport, have you considered looking beyond your context and examining the techniques used by coaches in parasport? The Canadian study shows that parasport can be a breeding ground for creative and innovative techniques that may also translate into the non-disabled context.

Learn More

How four high level parasport coaches use creativity in their reflective practice


Related Resources

  • Eight Steps to Great Coaching Reflection

  • Putting Your Reflections into Action

  • Six Strategies for Effective Reflective Practice


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UK Coaching Research Team