Over the past academic year reflecting on my coaching experiences and the reflective coach lectures has been something that I have very much enjoyed and engaged with. The blog posts that I have created throughout the year reflect on the experiences I have had and how I have developed as a coach. This blog will focus on aspects such as, a reflection on the year, as well as where I could improve in the future too.
Whole Year Reflection
My second year of university has been the hardest one yet and has required me to engage in a lot more self-directed learning. It has also made me realise how crucial keeping on top of your work is, as in this module. The blog tasks are there to be done every few weeks however we are not told as and when to do them, it is up to us. Personally the blogs have not really been an assignment as such as I have enjoyed writing them and discussing what I have learnt from the lectures. Each week I have tried to critically reflect so that I know how I can improve in the future. Again each lecture allowed me to gain a better understanding of different approaches to coaching. For example: Before coming to university I could never really put names to coaching approaches, whereas now I can not only identify and describe different approaches but I can also implement them too. To be perfectly honest when I first started coaching I was all about linear pedagogy and I thought I was doing a great job. However this year’s module for the reflective coach have made me realise that there are many coaching approaches that can all be used to gain a variety of outcome’s, whether this is short or long term development for example (i.e. linear and non-linear pedagogy).
In addition to the academic side of this module I have also gained a lot more experience coaching within the local area. I currently run a team along with another student from my course and I also coach disabled participants when I can on a Friday night. Also as part of a placement I engage with refugee football and all of the voluntary work which I do has improved my confidence significantly and therefore benefitted the coaching that I do. A year or two ago I wouldn’t have had the confidence to try something within a session but now I have the confidence to try new things even if they don’t work or go wrong. The volunteering I do gives me a chance to try out what I have learnt in lectures and therefore helps to give me a basis of reflection so that I can discuss what happened and more important why it happened, so I know how to improve it for the future.
Where Could I Still Improve?
To be honest I still have a lot of room for improvement but I am always wanting to improve and get better through the voluntary work I do. One main weakness which I do have though is my knowledge of drills and activities to use within my sessions. This could be because I do not have as much coaching experience as some students on my course however even so, I should be looking into this as an area to be improved. It is no good saying this though, what am I going to do about it? Well, I feel that gaining more experience is crucial to my development however watching other coaches sessions is just as beneficial. This allows me to gain ideas of drills that could be adapted and altered to suit the context that I am coaching within. Another key way that I can improve my knowledge is through coaching courses too. Currently I am looking to complete courses over the summer so that when I come back to university in September I have a greater pool of knowledge that can be used for academic and voluntary work too. The courses I am looking to do are the FA Youth Mod 1 & 2 as well as potentially a disability coaching course too which will all contribute to making the coaching sessions I implement, much more effective.
To conclude my final post of the year I believe that this module has been significantly beneficial and I actually believe that I have learnt more than I thought I would have. At the start of the reflection process I made a blog that described the importance of reflection but that doesn’t come close to explaining its benefits. Yes, a reflective blog helps you to discover your strengths and areas for improvement but this has allowed me to discover much more than just that. I have learnt a lot through the lectures and reflection process therefore in my eyes this module has been extremely beneficial and has helped me to become a better coach.