Throughout the year and particularly at the end of a season, Karel and I find it imperative to reflect - what's working and what's not working. Reflection is a necessary part of learning, growing and enhancement. While it's easy to reflect (anyone can do it), the difficulty comes in knowing how to change what's not working and then acting on it.
Since Karel and I both come from different athletic and educational backgrounds and upbringings, we are able to combine our experience and knowledge in order to critique our coaching methods, workouts and relationship with our athletes so that we can explore the areas that can be improved.
For coaches, it's normal to spend so much time on training plans and workouts that it's easy to forget to change what needs to change. Every coach loves talking about his/her proud coaching moments and athlete success stories but if you don't reflect on what occurred over the past season and assess how specific athletes responded to their training, it's difficult to keep athletes on a successful path of athletic development. Growth comes from implementing changes based on what you have learned.
Through our online coaching, interactions with our athletes at group and private camps and seeing our athletes in action at key events, we have had many opportunities to identify strengths in our coaching methods and recognize areas that we need to improve on. Reflection is fun but it is also time consuming as you have to do something with the information that you gained throughout the reflection process.
In researching the reflection process, here are some important reflection areas that I feel are important for coaches (and athletes):
- Celebrate success
- Improve/build on success
- Assess areas of improvement
- Address what failed/didn't work
- Make a plan for improvements
- Make changes
- Track changes and continue to reflect
As we wrap-up the 2017 season, I am so proud to share some of the results by our Trimarni athletes (thank you Trimarni athlete Meredith with Narrative Strategic Communications for creating this infographic):