Thursday, February 4, 2016

We Need to Show our Players How to Reflect

soccer reflection
"Reflection".  Sounds great, but do our players know how to reflect? Have you shown them how?

My coaching pal Chris Loucks brings this up on occasion and he got me thinking.

As you move up in your coaching education, reflection becomes a major part of the process.   Having also attended Teacher's College, I've been through the reflection process many times.

As adults we start to appreciate the benefits of reflecting and we make good use of what we learn from it.

The frustration for some is when you ask your players to reflect and they look at you with a blank face.  You may not remember this during your certification process, but somebody along the way did teach you how to reflect.  I wrote about reflecting way back in 2012.

Don't you think we need to teach our players how to reflect?

"I don't think any coach, player, teacher, priest, etc,
can ever become better without true reflection."

The process is quite simple ... you provide a list of questions and points to serve as a frame for their reflection.  And then you review their reflection and help them understand the process to gain more from it.

Right now, with our Niagara College program, we are in the middle of activities to increase our players Soccer IQ.  The first set of questions frustrated me but I knew many of them were probably never taught to talk about the game or themselves with an analytical mind ... they probably just played it (and that's OK). Once this phase is complete we will begin to refine the reflection process.

I don't think any coach, player, teacher, priest, etc, can ever become better without true reflection.

If we don't train our players how to reflect, their reflection might be "it was good".

So, what can we offer our players as points to think about? Here are some suggestions...
  • What did you have for your last meal?
  • Describe your day?  (ie school, day off, played with friends, etc)
  • How did you feel when you arrived for today's session?  (ie health, energy level, rushed etc)
  • Was training set up when you arrived?
  • Were you in the mood to learn today? Why? why not?
  • If you could change one thing leading up to your arrival today, what would it be?
  • Is there anything you noted last session that you wanted to address today?
  • How did you feel your performance would be today before you arrived?
  • How was your performance today?
  • What did you do well today?
  • What part of today's performance would you like to improve?
  • Have you touched a ball since your lest session?
  • Was the session enjoyable?  Why? Why not?
  • Do you feel you improved?  Why? Why not?
  • Is there anything about today's session that you want to address next session?
  • Final thoughts?
Your next step is to organize how the reflection is done and how you will implement it into your team's routine.  If you are at the early stages of showing players how to reflect, you need to review their reflections with them.  I believe this is one of those processes where you frame the conversation but their own discovery has to be the true teacher.

Please remember to not assume your players know how to reflect.   And don't underestimate how important it is.

I enjoyed this article regarding reflection

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