Coach Brad · Coaching · Development · Education · Leadership · Success

Observation and Reflection – The Process of Effective Coach Education

We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.

  • John Dewey (Philosopher and Educational Reformist)

Within this blog post, Coach Blake Seale is reflecting upon the observation and video from a previous post that can found at this link:

Reflection is important because learning from direct experience can be more effective if combined with reflection – that is the intentional attempt to synthesize, abstract, and articulate the key lessons taught by experience (Di Stefano, Gino, Pisano & Statts, 2015). Most coaches do not have the opportunity to be observed due to their hectic schedules and the fact that youth sport organizations do not use experienced staff members to observe younger coaches. Coaches are generally paid by how many people they coach on their team, not by the knowledge and growth they provide for other coaches. Adjusting this mindset to ensure younger coaches are offered opportunities for growth through observation and reflection could be a significant factor in establishing organizational stability and growth. Making experiences more productive by taking the time to reflect upon the task will lead young coaches towards proficiency.

The reflection that Blake created follows…I can almost hear the growth and development happening…

Blake Seale

Thank you for providing the observation and detailed evaluation. The way everything is broken up made it much easier for me to really understand how to fix each problem step by step. The videos helped tremendously as I was able to watch myself and notice things that a coach doesn’t normally get to see. The video also helps give a perfect recall of each coaching situation, which is very helpful to an aspiring coach.

Being able to have feedback on my session and in such a detailed way is great, I am able to think about how the session went and have the knowledge on how to improve each session from here on out.

The verbal feedback coupled with the video is such a great tool, as now I am able to visually see what could be improved. The video makes me be able to see what exact situations need to be tweaked for a much better session for each player.

Once receiving this information it made it much easier to plan for the following sessions as now I have a clear understanding of how to prepare my session. Being able to think about each coaching point before the session beings to minimalize the amount of time I would be pausing the session as to give each player more time training.

When I watched the videos and read the feedback I realized how much time I was wasting on explanations and knew the players would need more time working. Now I am going into the session timing each activity to make sure everyone is able to have enough time to scrimmage during the final portion of the session ensuring all of the players will have more time to perform all of the skills from the activities in a game like situation.

After receiving your email about my session I was able to understand how important it is to be able to quickly get in and out for coaching points, how to think about what will need to be fixed before the activity starts and how to time each activity for better time management and maximum playing time for the players.

I believe every club needs to be doing something similar like this to farther educate coaches so we can maximize each session and create better soccer players in the states.

Thank you very much Blake for the Reflection you offered.  It seems to me through watching the video and reading the evaluation, you learned the following by writing your reflection:

  • Think about where problems will occur prior to the session so you know what to focus on when working with the players.
  • Become more efficient in making coaching points and starting the activity (“getting the ball rolling”).
  • Improve time management during activities within the session to create more active game time at the end of the session.

Through reflection, Blake was able to provide additional reinforcement as to how to create personal success within his lesson. His ability to learn and put into action thoughts and ideas from the observation has grown through the process of reflection.

Thank you for reading the blog and you will benefit greatly by including reflection in your future learning process.

We Empower athletes, families, coaches, and organizations to create opportunities for lifetime success,

Coach Brad

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Di Stenao, G., Gino, F., Pisano, G., Staats, B. (2015, March). Learning by thinking: How reflection improves performance. Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 14-093. Retrieved from

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