What are my coaching strengths/weaknesses and why?
For me I believe that my greatest strength when coaching is my ability to be planned and organised before and during the session. I always ensure I have a written plan when needed so that I can follow it and ensure that I know what I am doing. When creating a plan I make sure that it is accurate enough so that anyone can use it and deliver the session even if they have had no coaching experience. By keeping the plans that I have written it means I can re-use sessions that I have done before with other groups if needed, therefore saving me time when planning. As stated by The Corporate Executive Board Company (2006) coaching plans “Create a foundation for consistent coaching efforts across the development cycle, and they ensure that the manager’s coaching activities are supporting their employees’ development goals. To that end, the coaching plan outlines the responsibilities of both the employee and the manager”. Even though this is not a sport specific quote it shows how important a coaching plan is as it allows goals to be viewed and worked towards. Therefore if this were in a sports context improving the athlete’s skills would be the end goal.
Another strength I believe I have when coaching is my ability to give out instructions quite clearly in a manner that can be understood by everyone. By doing this all the participants can get on with the activity without having to ask questions regarding the activity that they are partaking in. This is particularly important when coaching various age groups because the way you speak to a group/individual can affect the way that they perform or complete a certain drill. I feel that the quote by Burton (2011) sums this up perfectly by stating that “As a coach, the way you speak can affect the results you get”. This just shows the important you’re voice and the way you use it is, when coaching.
I believe that my main weakness is my ability to motivate players when they are joining in the drill. Most of the time I don’t really praise the individuals for doing something well. I say small bits here and there such as ‘well done’ or ‘great pass’ but more bits of praise can have a big impact on an individual. It can improve their confidence which could result in the players improving significantly too. In addition to this I think that another weakness of mine is my ability to create a new drill on the spot if the circumstances within the team changed. For example: If I had planned for 12 players and only 7 turned up then in would have to rethink the drill or use a new one and this is something that I struggle with when I’m put on the spot! However I feel that the more and more coaching sessions I do, the more sessions I will remember in my head and be able to make use of.
What do I believe my main aims/objectives are for the module?
Another question that is majorly important is what my aims and objectives are for this module. Therefore Over the year my main aim is to improve all aspects of my coaching in one way or another. Even though I have stated my strengths and weaknesses of coaching I believe that every aspect can be improved in some way. The areas that I will try to target most are things such as my confidence, motivation and creativity. The more coaching I do in and outside of university will allow me to work on these skills which will more than likely improve them. As a result of this hopefully I will become a better coach who is much more adaptable. Due to the fact that this module is reflective based I can analyse my own performance based on my opinions as well as others too.
How will I achieve/work towards them during the module?
When coaching I will try to target the areas specifically so that they are tested more than other areas. I will write down in the plan what aspects I will try and work on that week. For example if I was working on motivation I would try to motivate the players more than I usually would even if I felt uncomfortable, as it would be developing my skills. I will push myself as it is the best way to improve in my opinion. In addition to this I will gain feedback of peers and lecturers about what they feel I did well and not so well. Therefore this would allow me to set targets/goals for the following week to try and achieve.
What am I looking forward to on the module (or perhaps not)?
The main thing that I am looking forward to is keeping a blog on my coaching experiences and development as it is something new to me. It will allow me to see how much I have learnt over the year and the ways I went about learning new skills. Conversely the thing I am most dreading is that it is up to me to complete the task on a weekly basis. Even though I see myself as an organised individual, remembering to reflect on my coaching experiences every week could prove to be tough, especially with the distractions of living in a house with four other lads.
Burton, K. (2011) Coaching with NLP For Dummies. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons.
The Corporate Executive Board Company (2006). Coaching Takes Planning. Available at: http://ucsfhr.ucsf.edu/files/LDR_Coaching_Takes_Planning_Toolkit.pdf (Accessed 28th September 2015)