I feel the use of the blog has made me reflect on the sessions I have coached this year. I believe the topics covered and the articles I hav read have been extremely useful. To see top class coaches like Steve Hansen still strive for improvement gives faith to beginner coaches like myself. As a rookie coach I tend to look at the elite level coaches in awe at how good they are, but I feel there is something quite comforting in the fact that they too have self doubts about their ability, and concerns just like I do.
Work outside of University
From the placement I have had this year at Blackburn Rovers, it has allowed me to observe and compare different coaching styles, methods, and also how coaches behaviour changes from coaching the foundation level players at the age of 8-9 up to coaching the scholars striving for a professional contract at the ages of 17-18. I have also been able to see first hand how professional coaches reflect on not only their teams performance but also their own coaching performance, through the use of video analysis.
At Blackburn I have also been fortunate enough to record the PFA’s UEFA B Licence courses that they have been running up at Blackburn. This was fascinating to see how these ex-international footballers reflect upon their coaching sessions with the assessors afterwards. Again I think this is quite comforting as some of those players have played in World Cup’s, Champions League Finals, and even they look back on their sessions, reflect and see what could have improved.
I think going forward, I will continue to reflect on my sessions when I coach and use this as a method of improvement. I’ve always been a supporter of reflection anyway, as I see how important and beneficial post-performance analysis is from my work at Blackburn. It is also a great method to improve. I personally believe if you finish every session and think it went perfect that you are probably delusional. There is always room for improvement, and in an environment like football that is constantly evolving and changing it is vital to stay ahead of the game.
If you look at arguably the greatest British manager in football Sir Alex Ferguson, he had to change how he coached to adapt. He was winning trophies constantly in England, but coming unstuck against European opposition. In order to change this and make Man Utd more of a force in Europe, he reflected on his coaching styles and altered them for European games.
Going forward on my coaching journey I know that this reflection will have been extremely useful. FA Level 2, and UEFA B Licence courses both require documented evidence of sessions in the form of post session reflections, and I know I will now have the relevant experience to hopefully pass the FA Level 2 at least within the next 12 months.