INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

10 steps to support your development

As you plan and deliver sessions to improve your players, it is easy to overlook your own development.

But continuing to learn about yourself, your methods and your goals is very important. As the New Zealand rugby union team asks: “Where are you growing?”.

It is a simple question – but can provoke some answers from within that further your self-improvement.

Here are 10 top tips on how to support your own learning and development.

01 TAKE TIME TO REFLECT

Reflection improves your practice as a coach. It can take many forms but engaging in it in some way will improve your coaching craft. You may use a model or template, or just preserve some time to gather your thoughts.

02 GET A COACH DEVELOPER

A coach developer doesn’t tell you what to do or fix problems you have as a coach. But they will hold up mirrors and help you see your coaching from a different perspective, while asking questions and nudging your thoughts. Consider it positive disruption!

03 FILM YOURSELF COACH

Watching video of yourself coaching can make you squirm. But it is brilliant feedback and gives you the opportunity to reflect in super-objective, high definition. You don’t need fancy kit – just an iPhone with a tripod.

04 MAP OUT YOUR NETWORK

Having an understanding of who you can go to within your network to get support with different things can be really useful. You are likely to have people who can be a sounding board, idea grower, critical friend, success celebrator, and more.

05 SEEK FEEDBACK

Gaining feedback on your coaching can really help you build your self awareness. It supports your growth and development, especially if you are happy to listen to some of the uncomfortable stuff. Try and be specific in how you would like the giver to help you.

Reflecting on your sessions and asking for feedback from trusted members of your network are among the tools you can utilise to improve as a coach, says Tom Hartley

06 READ WIDER THAN YOUR SPORT

We can all end up reading the same things as our peers. It is great to have shared interests, but there is a risk of developing ‘group-think’ or creating an echo chamber. Reading – or watching or listening – on the fringes of your world can be ace.

07 CHALLENGE YOUR VIEWS AND BELIEFS

While we are on that point of echo chambers, think about what makes you who you are as a coach. Why do you coach the way you do? Are there some things you are potentially missing that could maximise your performance?

08 SPEND MORE TIME PLANNING

Purposeful planning can improve your understanding of performance while coaching. Taking time to plan more than your Xs & Os is also important. What are the questions you are going to ask? How are you going to engage the athletes?

09 TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

Want to look after your athletes? Start by looking after yourself. How do you expect to give players the best possible experience if you haven’t slept or eaten well, or not had time to rest and recover?

10 CREATE AN IDP

When it comes to your learning and development, having a plan will help point in the right direction. You might have clear goals you want to achieve, or some fuzzy goals with a general direction in mind.

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