This assignment will discuss and outline the placement I completed
during the summer. The purpose throughout, is to critically reflect on some of
my experiences during the placement and attempt to identify the strengths and
areas which need improving. This will be presented using a reflective practise framework.
National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Coaching will also be used during the
assignment to refer too. Lastly, my personal development plan (PDP) will also be examined
and analysed in depth. To conclude, the assignment will summarise vital points
mentioned, to make suggestions for my long-term development plan.
the summer, I took up a position of a coach at a school, which is looking to
pursue the possibility of becoming a teacher in the future. The role took place
for two weeks, in which I assisted and lead coaching sessions to a range of
ages between 6-16. The school also played many different sports which both
males and females were involved in. The placement was mainly about gaining
experiences and skills within schooling environment. The job description can be found in
Appendix 1. This lists the requirements that were needed for the role and also
the necessary attributes the school looked for.
practise is best described by Zimmerman (2000) as an individual’s capacity to
apply previous experiences to improve future performances in a goal-directed
and effective manner. This form of research which helps improve practice by
developing it straight from past or current experiences (Fook & Gardner,
(1999) describes reflection in three different levels. Firstly is, technical
reflection, which focuses on efficiency and the effectiveness of means to complete
certain ends. The second level is practical reflection. allows for open analysis
not only of means, but also of goals set. Lastly, critical reflection, is an analytical
process which looks to find meaning of an experience. This can be used to
recognise an individual’s weaknesses, allowing them to improve plans to address
these and continue to develop (Passmore, 2015).
reflective practice framework I will be using is the Kolb’s (1984) cycle
(Appendix 2). This is used to consider reflection as an essential part of learning.
Kolb (1984) indicates that the method of learning follows a cycle involving of
four stages; concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract
conceptualisation and active experimentation.
Transferable skills were essential during my role as a coach in a
school. These skills become important when working within any role as they
involve being able to keep organised, motivated able to work well with others.
Transferable skills can be described as “the need for a flexible, adaptable
workforce to suit the constantly developing and changing requirements of the
workplace” (Kemp and Seagraves, 1995 pp.315). With my transferable skills good
throughout the placement it allowed me to help them adapt to the new
surrounding and be flexible when using their own coaching methods.
are two key learning experiences which have been identified from my coaching
placement which I will analyse and discuss. This will be one positive and one
negative experience which I came across. During my previous experiences in
coaching it was mainly working as an assistant while someone else took the lead
of the session. This placement was good experience for me as towards the end it
required me to lead session myself in which I feel I adapted very well too. The
ability to problem solve and methods of training used during session was more
important than ever as I was running the training session on my own.
first experience was a positive one which involved me changing my coaching
method to help the participants understand a passing drill during a football
session. This was a massive positive me and I took leadership myself and not
look to help from my supervisor from the start of my placement. The group being
coached during the experience, were aged 12-14, in which all of them were at a
good playing standard within the sport. Firstly, I explained the drill using
verbal instructions to tell the participant what to do for the exercise.
Because drill was very straight forward for me used a lot in my own experiences
I expected the children to complete it with ease. However, I started to realise
that they did not quite understand the use of the exercise and it needed to be
done. With the participants looking very confused, running in different
direction and the ball not being able to get around to complete the passing
drill, I need to change something to help improve the exercise. I had to react
quickly and change the training methods I used to explain the drill. I decided
to use effective demonstrations to show them how to complete the drill. This
meant myself stepping in and demonstration all stages of the practice to allow
the participant to actual see how it is meant to be done. After explained, the
participants tried to carry out the exercise again in which they complete
perfectly with all the small detail being used.
During this scenario, it was clear that I had use transferable skill to
take responsibly and leadership as I had to adapt my coaching methods
throughout session to help the participants improve. This can be referred to
The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for sports coaching (Appendix 3).
This implies, a coach need to be able to introduce different methods when
coaching a session. Instead of going to my supervisor which I had been
shadowing previous, the problem was solved myself. The ability of good coach can include a
range of skills and attributes needed. Martens (2004) describes problem solving
as being one of the most important skills required. Having this, allowed me to
adapt to the situation effectively. For a coach, this is vital as scenarios can
change at any time. I felt I also showed good leadership skills when changing
the training methods as I was positive it would improve the drill set out.
Leadership is described by Beauchamp et al., (2005) as guiding and motivating
individuals or groups towards set goals. For me personal, it was a positive
that I could take the leadership on myself to guide the participants to
completing the drill successfully without the help of my supervisor.
referring it to Kolb’s model (1984), I showed that I was able to reflect and
acknowledge that the training method I used to begin with, was not detailed and
explained well enough for the task to be completed by the participants. My
ability to be able to reflect on the drill and learn it was not working due to
my training methods helped me as a coach and will be a positive when coaching
in the future.
second experience that will be discussed is a negative one, which I want to
learn from and taking forward with me in the future to improve as a coach. It
involves a miss understanding of a drill, that emphasises the importance of
switching play in football. The session was for the 1st team at the
school with all the players aged 16 and playing at a high level. As the drill advanced,
it became more of a keep-ball session with the players unable to score ‘points’
as they feared losing the ball. Although the participants were making the right
in game decisions, the objective of switching play was not being shown. Instead
of pausing the drill and reiterating the objected using different
communicational skills, I let the session continue. Looking back at the
session, I should have made some changes to the drill and decide to introduce a
rule where only one defender could enter the attacking half. this would then
make the drill more realistic for the participants and become more effective
towards them. Also introducing a forfeit for the losing team encouraged players
to take risks and score more ‘points’. With these changes being made, the
intensity would have increased and there would have been a more noticeable
difference seeing players trying to switch play.
reflect on this negative experience, I had during my placement, using
transferable skills such as communication would have benefit me. With me pausing
the session to make changed, the participant would have gained more and
improved overall. In coaching, communication is a vital section which can
determine the result of the learning process of young participants (Cassidy,
Jones and Potrac, 2004). Anderson (1959) suggests that communication also
includes the exchange of ideas, feelings, thoughts or information through a
verbal or non-verbal way. This involves a mutual contribution and understanding
which can be between the coach and participants (Margret, Kirubakar and
Kumutha, 2010). It is a critical skill in all areas of life (Jones and
Lavellee, 2009). The fact I felt the need to reiterate the objective of the
exercise may highlight a weakness in my ability to effectively interpersonally
communicate. The fact that I decided not to pause the session and change it,
highlights a weakness in my communication.
scenario can also be referred to the The National Occupational Standards (NOS) for sports
coaching (Appendix 4). This implies, that a coach may need to assess the
situation of the drill that was planned after the session has begun and realise
that changes are needed. When
reflecting on this experience, I have learnt to be clearer towards the
participants when trying to communicate and to not assume about their knowledge
and ability to pick up tasks easily. In future sessions that I lead, I will
make sure everyone has clear instructions on the aims before the drill starts.
It may have been worth to adding context to this; explaining the benefits of
the drill and where the skills can be used in a match situation.
Although my coaching placement
contributed lots to my development, producing a Personal Development Plan (PDP)
which is shown in appendix 5, can help me reflect on my performance. Using
‘SWOT’ analyses, my performance is broken down easily to then work from.
Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are all examined to help me
look at my positives and negatives from the placement. Setting goals is also used
within my PDP as I can set target for the future and look to achieve them. I
have set myself two clear goals, the first is to complete my UEFA B coaching
badge. This will expand my
knowledge of coaching within football and also help develop key skills that are
needed. This will help achieve my long-term objective by
securing a job as a lead coach within a professional or schooling environment. These goals will help improve myself as
a coach which will affect the development for young athletes in a positive way.
Personal development planning is best described “as an assessment tool embedded
in a larger assessment cycle of development and performance interviews. It is
used to gather and document information about the competencies the employee
worked on and is planning to further develop in the near future” (Beausaert, 2013 pp46). My PDP
has helped to recognise and articulate a whole
variety of skills that can be used effectively in personal, academic or work
The object of this assignment
was to reflect and critical discuss my placement over the summer as a coach
within a school. During this placement, I development many skills and
attributes coaching children from ages 6-16 years of age. I
have identified strengths which I will continue to do and also weaknesses which
I have provided solutions for to address and stated what I would do
differently. In order to continue to progress, I must keep challenging myself
within professional environments. Through using transferable skills and Kolb’s
(1984) Reflective Practice cycle I have discovered both the positive and
negative scenarios throughout the placement. My PDP was lastly discussed in
detail areas and skills that need to be established. It is important for me to
continue to work on my weaknesses and achieve my goals set to become a better
coach in the near future.