Want to understand your coaching? Then you need to reflect. Taking the time to consider your actions and their impact can help to ensure you learn from your experiences.
How often and to what extent do you reflect on your coaching? Reflection can happen at different times and often focuses on different things.
Before a session or match: you may reflect on previous events and use this information to plan for the upcoming ones.
During a session or match: you may reflect on how the game is going and whether there’s any action you can take right now.
Directly after a session or match: you may reflect on what just happened and use this information to inform the feedback you give your players.
A few days later: you may decide to reflect on your coaching as part of a collection of your sessions or matches.
The 'perfect session' doesn't exist...
...but reflection can help you to ensure that your coaching in training and matches is as effective as possible. Broadly, you should think about the following questions:
- What went well and why?
- What didn’t go well and why?
- What would you do again and why?
- What wouldn't you do again and why?
More specifically, you could also consider to what extent the following happened?
- Your practice design offered the opportunity to learn.
- Your players achieved their aims.
- Your interactions added value.
- Your behaviour stayed positive and consistent.
Effective reflection allows us to make sense of what happened, and learn and adapt our behaviour and decisions – instead of merely repeating experiences.