Reflecting on Week 1

THE GOOD STUFF

Trying to find good things from your first week of placement...

Starting with what may feel like the more challenging question first:

WHAT DID YOU DO WELL THIS WEEK?

The common answer we hear is "not much", because as a new coach it is very easy to focus on the likely many negatives that occurred during your first week of placement. As described in the short and sweet video below, we are wired to focus on the negatives, which can cloud our judgement and impair our ability to identify positives! However, reflecting on the positives is essential, as this will then allow you to reinforce and consolidate these positives next week, whilst hopefully layering on a few "improved" skills too. It's much easier to start with what you do well, and add layers to that slowly, rather than trying to reinvent yourself every week in the hope that one day you strike gold! Hence the aim of identifying the positives is to give you a starting point that you can then build on each week.

Hopefully you have a few examples of things you did well over the last week, however as noted above, this can be challenging! One of the main challenges, is that it's easy to see what didn't work, but it's hard to gauge what worked well in this context without a good understanding as to what the difference between an "average" or "good" session/drill. As you gain more experience, improve your skillset, but most importantly improve your understanding of what "good" looks like, it will likely become easier to reflect on what you've done well! To assist you with what good things to look for over the last week, below is a list of some things new coaches generally do well, and things for you to reflect on and consider your own performance.

- Were you prepared for the session?
- Did you execute the session plan well?
- Did your athletes end the session better athletes than what they started as?
- Did you get to know your athletes?
- Did you communicate effectively with your athletes?
- Did your athletes have a degree of trust and buy in with what you were saying?
- Did you adjust your "coaching style" to accommodate the needs of different athletes?
- Did you ask questions when necessary?
- Did you work together well with other coaches?
- Did you offer help to other coaches?
- Were you a pleasant person to work with?
- Did you enjoy your placement this week?
- Did you learn something at placement this week?

Notice how all of the above questions relate to the "soft skills" of coaching! At this point in your placement, there is minimal expectation that you have elite "hard skills", and our coaching systems at the sports academy are set up to allow you to develop these soft skills first. There is no point in developing elite coaches who know advanced biomechanics, exercise prescription, east European shock training systems etc etc if you can't communicate effectively with athletes and get them to "buy what you're selling"! Hence our goal is to develop these soft skills first, protecting you from any major requirements for technical hard skills or knowledge, so that as we start layering on further skills you've already got a solid foundation and are able to actually utilise these further skills with your athletes!

Hopefully this section has got you thinking and reflecting on some of the positives from your first week of placement! Make sure you've identified at least a handful of positives from your placement this week; you may find it beneficial to write these positives down somewhere you'll look at frequently to remind and reinforce the things you did well!

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