I recently undertook the online Self Reflection test on the UK Sports Coach website. This is a useful tool that asks you what level of coaching you believe you are currently at and asks you where you want to get to, and what you need to do to achieve this.
For me my current short-term plan is to go firstly into performance analysis within football if possible and then move into coaching from there. Like most people the dream however unrealistic, would be to work at an elite senior level within football. This is extremely difficult and the pathway to do this would be to coach at a development phase within an elite football setup and try to work your way up from that. Therefore I used that as my goal on the Self Reflection Tool.
The tool was broken down into 5 steps; About You, Your Motives, What Kind of Coach Do You Want To Be? Skills & Knowledge, and Next Steps. Within each step the tool asked you to choose certain qualities or skills that you feel are required to be an effective coach. It would then ask you to evaluate where you are now and then where you feel you need to be to be the coach you want to be.
The first was the personal skills:
As we can see by the graph I feel I have a lot of improvement to do to get anywhere near the elevel I want to be as a coach. The skill I currently scored the highest on was the culture of the sport. I feel this is because I have always played football, and have always managed to be involved with the sport too and that has allowed me to keep in touch with that culture.
The second area I evaluated myself on was the technical knowledge areas.
Again I feel I am way below the standard I currnetly need to be to work in the environment I want to. However across the board I probably performed stronger on the technical knowledge areas than I did on the Personal Skills.
Finally the self reflection tool created a summary based on my answers throughout. This is created as a reference to move forward and create an action plan for the future on how to improve.
From my answers and the summary, we can establish I feel the most effective methods of developing skills are to continue to do coaching qualifications and also to try and observe coaches at a higher level to see what can be learnt. I feel coaching courses are useful, not only because they increase employability but also because you can have constructive discussions with other coaches who have different methods and philosophies to yourself. From these discussions you may learn something you may have overlooked and this can only enhance your ability as a coach. Also from my own personal experience, participants on the coaching courses can come from other countries and therefore have a different football upbrining and ultimately a completely different culture to that of ourselves in the UK. Therefore the chances are you will learn something new from their own experiences of the sport that can be taken forward and improve your understanding of the game and again coaching ability.