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As asserted by Jones (2014), personal experience is very vital in facilitating an individual’s reflection and reflective practice in sports’ coaches. It is the personal experience that an individual coach obtains that determines their performance and delivery of the same to their learners. Therefore, the higher the level of personal experience, the higher the delivery of content to the learners. Below is a critical review of personal experiences in facilitating reflection and reflective practice in sports coaches. This review is carried out as per an individual experience drawing upon the blog to show how personal experience can be used in facilitating reflection and reflective exercise. The rationale for the importance of reflective practice in coach development is eminent all through the essay. However, the most profound rationale is to assist individuals in facilitating reflection and reflective practice towards coach development.     

The first personal experience, which can help to facilitate reflection and the reflective practice, is the increased learning from an experience of situations. During this procedure, different situations present themselves at different times (Hughes, Lee and Chesterfield, 2009). When such situations occur, it is a must that the individual undertaking the reflection and reflective practice will experience them. After the recurrence of such situations, the coach can navigate through them with a lot of ease. The skills for coaching and navigating around problems of by more occurrence of such situations (Jones, 2014).  

This way, the coaching skills increase and thus facilitate the development of a coach from a lower level to a higher level. The process continues all through the practice with each level of the practice making someone more competent than they were before (Grecic & Collins, 2013). This means that my personal skills as a coach were greatly boosted by the reflective practice. Each level of the practice made me a competent individual than I was in the previous level. This was an indication that I was becoming a better coach than I was at the previous level of the development process. This gradual development is what every individual is undertaking a reflective practice in coaching aims at achieving. Having all the positive indications that am achieving development is an indication that am becoming a competent coach. Thus, I am capable of approaching problems in the sporting activities from a different perspective as I would have before undertaking the reflective practice.

The second personal experience, which can facilitate reflection and reflective practice in sports coaches, is through promoting deep learning. The whole reflection and reflective exercise gears towards promoting deep learning (Hughes, Lee and Chesterfield, 2009). Through reflective practice, I was able to establish my weak areas objectivity and thus built on them progressively. This way, I was able to promote deep learning through articulate understanding of issues pertaining to the reflective practice. The result of deep understanding is that the development of coaching skills is greatly enhanced and installed within an individual (Knowles, Borrie & Telfer, 2005).   

The whole exercise thus becomes simple, and the necessary skills are acquired progressively with ease (Hughes, Lee and Chesterfield, 2009). With articulate acquisition of such skills, an individual undertaking the reflective practice becomes a very promising coach in the future. This is exactly what I am aiming at so as to become a renowned coach to my learner. Recognition of an individual’s weak points is vital in achieving a deep understanding of the coaching practice. This recognition is followed by a well-orchestrated means of dealing with the weakness and making a strength out of it (Grecic & Collins, 2013). Combined with the established strong areas, the individual becomes an all rounded coach who has high expectation in the future. I believe that through this endeavor, I have improved my coaching skills through promoting a deep sense of learning.

The third personal experience, which can be applied in facilitating reflection and reflective practice in sports’ coaches, is articulate identification of education needs. A perfect identification of the required educational needs helps in facilitating the reflection and reflective practice in coaching development. This situation is true because after identification of the required education needs, the matching means of addressing the needs are swiftly identified. After identifying the required means for addressing the need, the necessary resources for addressing the need are then set ready for use (Knowles, Tyler, Gilbourne & Eubank, 2006). The next step is applying the resources in fulfilling the identified educational need. This method is vital in ensuring that there is no wastage of resources that occurs when trying to gamble against several education needs. Similarly, identifying the education need at first is vital in preventing time wastage and allowing for timely accumulation of the required resources for addressing the need. This way, the personal development practice is greatly boosted through orienting with the necessary educational requirements. 

A perfect match for educational requirements greatly facilitates reflection and reflective practice in sports coaching as I have witnessed all through the practice. This assertion is true because it is easier to teach others to put in practice the identified educational need areas as opposed to the unidentified educational areas. Also, since one must focus on specifics as opposed to generals, it is vital that one identifies their area of education need before undertaking the reflective practice. This activity is geared towards building on the weak areas while upholding the strong areas (Knowles, Borrie & Telfer, 2005).This way, the reflection and reflective practice becomes fruitful and easy to execute. The results of this are that the reflective practice helps the learner in realizing the most crucial development of self. 

The fourth personal experience aspect, which can facilitate reflection and reflective practice in sports coaches, is the ability to identify individual and professional strengths. This endeavor is followed by the identification of the areas for improvement. Through undertaking the reflective practice, I was able to identify individual and professional strengths. After successful identification of these strengths, identifying the areas for improvement was easy. I mastered the process of doing so and thus can do it over and again with articulation and ease. This way, I am able to facilitate a reflection and reflective practice in sports coaching through helping the learners. Through this mastery, it is ease to guide the learner in identifying their personal and professional strengths. (Knowles, Borrie & Telfer, 2005). This way, the whole practice is made easier thus giving the learner some ample time to focus on details and build on their weaknesses. They thus become capable of undertaking the reflective practice with articulation and hence become professionally endowed with the necessary coaching skills in sports. 

The fifth personal experience, which can facilitate reflection and reflective practice in sports coaches, is the ability to further appreciation of own beliefs, values, and attitudes. Through the reflective practice, I was able to appreciate my personal beliefs, values and attitudes. This appreciation emanated from understanding of the above three named elements namely attitudes, values and beliefs. When one understands the above personal elements, they are capable of acting within the limits of their beliefs, and can uphold their values. They are also capable of assessing their attitude towards the practice (Knowles, Tyler, Gilbourne & Eubank, 2006).  This way, individuals can make sound decisions pertaining to what they really want to achieve.  

Having undergone this practice, I believe that I am more capable than ever in providing guidance to a learner on how to go about the three personal elements. Since a balance must exist between the three, it is of the essence that an individual beware of this balance. The balance does not just happen and in fact, as Grecic & Collins (2013) asserts, it requires commitment and enthusiasm to establish where it should occur. With my personal experience with the practice, guiding a learner in this endeavor of the reflection and reflective practice in sports coaching is an easy task.

The sixth personal experience, which I gained through the practice that can facilitate reflection and reflective practice in sports coaches is the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. Through the reflective practice, an individual encounters a personal experience of acquisition of new know-how and skills (Jones, 2014).  When an individual sets out for a reflective practice in coaching, it is likely that they will acquire new skills and knowledge if the practice is done the right way. Using the new skills and knowledge that I acquired through the practice, I feel capable of facilitating reflection and reflective practice in sports coaches with ease. 

Conclusion

There are several personal experiences that I encountered in the process of reflective practice that are helpful in facilitating reflection and reflective practice in sports coaches. Some of these experiences are; acquisition of new skills and knowledge, increased learning, deep learning, and articulate identification of education needs. In addition, there are the ability to identify individual and professional strengths, and the ability for further appreciation of own beliefs, values, and attitudes. All of the above personal experiences highly boost an individual’s ability in facilitating reflective and reflective practice. Given a chance to apply these personal experiences in facilitating reflective practice, I believe I have the aptitude to do so successfully.

References

Grecic, D., & Collins, D. (2013). The Epistemological Chain: Practical Applications in Sports. Quest, 65(2), 151-168. doi:10.1080/00336297.2013.773525

Hughes, C., Lee, S. and Chesterfield, G. (2009). Innovation in sports coaching: the implementation of reflective cards. Reflective Practice, 10(3), pp.367-384.        

Jones, L. (2014). An introduction to sports coaching: connecting theory to practice (2nd Edition). Sports Coaching Review, 1-2. doi:10.1080/21640629.2014.979716

Knowles, Z., Borrie, A., & Telfer, H. (2005). Towards the reflective sports coach: issues of context, education and application. Ergonomics, 48(11-14), 1711-1720. doi:10.1080/00140130500101288

Knowles, Z., Tyler, G., Gilbourne, D., & Eubank, M. (2006). Reflecting on reflection: exploring the practice of sports coaching graduates. Reflective Practice, 7(2), 163-179. doi:10.1080/14623940600688423

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