INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

9 ways to make the most of reflection

Self-reflection is an important tool to make use of, no matter what line of work your in. In fact, it’s a life skill in general.

Coaches will often be advised to do it, to improve their session delivery or interactions with players.

But too often this can focus only on how to iron out problems and reinforce any negative aspects of your coaching style – when in actual fact you can learn as much from the good in what you do.

So, if you record your work to watch or listen back to later, here are nine tips on how to positively and aspirationally review it.

01 – FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT – SO LISTEN CAREFULLY

Review the first five minutes of your interaction with a player. Most often, the other person reveals what they need help with in their opening gambit.

If this comes back up at the end, you likely missed the opportunity in the first five minutes.

02 – LITTLE VICTORIES MATTER – DON’T FLOG YOURSELF

Use the review to focus on movement, not judgement. It is easy to get critical and defensive, but this closes down curiosity and self-awareness.

So, for every one thing you want to improve, match this with one thing you knocked out the park. These small wins are cumulative and give you the motivation to tackle the harder stuff down the line.

Otherwise, the whole review exercise becomes another way to flog yourself – and that’s no fun.

03 – REHEARSE WHAT YOU WISHED YOU HAD SAID

There is nothing wrong with the ‘do over’ – a second attempt. When you notice yourself saying something you wished you hadn’t – like filling the silence, or being more critical than you would have liked, then do the following: pause the tape; imagine the response you would prefer to have given; practice it.

04 – CONSIDER THE ‘WHY’

When considering the response you gave the first time, think about what may have triggered it.

If you’re getting anxious, be curious about what feeling that Is bringing up. Ask yourself what this might be about when you take a second look.

Dr Suzanne Brown has pioneered a way of working bridges clinical psychology with elite performance, which she calls ’emotional fitness’ – effectively a gym session for the mind

05 – HEAL YOUR BLIND SPOT

Take the tape to a master in your field. Get feedback from someone who can help you explore what may be in your blind spot.

Most of what we do is driven by unconscious processes. When we are helped to see this we expand our bandwidth of what we can deal with.

06 – BODY LANGUAGE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT

If you video record, review a segment with the sound off. Train yourself to listen with your eyes just as much as your ears.

So much of our behaviour is communicated through non-verbal interaction..

07 – PEER REVIEWS

Set up a regular peer practice, with prior consent from your athletes on sharing the video.

Having a regular practice helps people commit to their development – because, let’s face it, it can be hard to maintain this.

08 – RELATIONSHIP GUIDANCE

Listen out for content that may reveal something about your relationship.

Are they bringing examples of people that “don’t listen to them” or “people that force them to be a certain way”.

Get curious with them about how that might apply here now in your relationship.

09 – BE COMFORTABLE WITH THE VOICES IN YOUR HEAD

Notice the inner dialogue that comes up when you review your tape. This reveals a lot about how safe it feels to not already be a rockstar at what you’re doing.

The voice in your head is the one you spend the most time with. Cultivate a safe relationship with it.

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