Reflecting on Week 1
THE NOT-GOOD STUFF
Reflecting on The Less-Good Stuff
As was discussed in the previous page, this is often a very easy task for new coaches who can sometimes feel like nothing went well! It's very easy to identify what didn't work well, however when you don't know what "good" looks like it can be very hard to evaluate whether what you've done was "good" or just "average". Early on in your placement it can be very easy to focus on the more obvious negatives, and develop feelings of insecurity around whether or not you're "good enough" to complete this placement, or whether you're even in the right industry! Unfortunately, we always have a very small percentage of coaches who discontinue their placement for various reasons, and our concern is that coaches are discontinuing because they feel too out of their depth! However, this feeling of being an "imposter" is a very common experience by people of all sorts of experience when put into new and unfamiliar situations, and the best way to combat this feeling is to talk to others about how they're feeling! It may surprise you, and give you some comfort, to find that most other coaches are grappling with their own feelings of insecurity or as if they're an imposter, waiting to be called out. This phenomenon is known as "Imposter Syndrome", and the video at the end of this page is a fantastic presentation explaining this feeling and how to best harness these feelings! If this resonates with you, you have additional homework this week: chat to one other coach on placement at Rise prior to your next placement session and ask how they felt/coped with their first week of placement!
Having set the scene that the feelings that "you can't do anything right", or that "you don't belong" are inaccurate feelings and likely shared by the majority of other placement students, we can now turn our attention to focusing on some of the things that new coaches may need to improve. It's very easy to be super-critical of everything that you do, however it's also important to acknowledge that identifying areas of improvement is only half the battle, and the other half requires you to design solutions to address these areas! Hence when identifying areas of improvement, it needs to be not in a self-depreciating sense ("I stuffed up this, and that, and this..."), but rather to facilitate self improvement ("I need to work on this, and that, and this..."). In order to achieve this, it is obviously important to consider the final outcome of the session/exercise/drill (i.e. did the session go well?), but it is equally as important (if not more important!) to consider the CONTROLLABLE and UNCONTROLLABLE factors that determined the final outcome. For example, if as a coach you didn't clearly communicate to your athletes what the exercise and focus points were, and because of this confusion 2-3 minutes of training time was lost whilst clarifying, that is an example of a CONTROLLABLE factor that can be addressed in subsequent sessions. If instead your athletes rocked up 10 minutes late, and for this reason you were unable to fully complete the program, that's an example of an UNCONTROLLABLE factor that might still lead to a poor session, however focusing your feedback on this uncontrollable factor is unlikely to achieve anything other than making yourself feel bad!
Hence the goal of this phase of the reflective process is to try and identify the CONTROLLABLE factors that need to be improved in subsequent sessions. Before reading on, take a minute to reflect on some of the things that didn't work well this week, and identify: what were the CONTROLLABLE factors that led to these not working well? Specifically, try to focus on the soft skills that you think need to be improved, as the technical skills will be layered on later in the placement!
Having paused to consider what controllable factors you may aim to address going forward, return back to the previous page and reflect on the list that was provided there. Are any of those points things that you could've done better? If so, what are the controllable factors that you can address? Hopefully by now you've outlined several controllable's that you want to improve, which will then lead into the next phase of this reflection nicely!