As a coach, I often challenge the players I work with to analyse their own game; only very rarely have I turned the mirror back onto my own coaching behaviours.
So Deakin University’s ‘Self-Aware Coach’ online course, led by Paddy Upton and Dr Sharon Pittaway and hosted by FutureLearn, was an opportunity not to be missed.
The course content was exceptional, the educators informed, candid and engaged, and so many of my fellow students contributed so much via their considered Comments.
And I have come away with tools to monitor (and modulate) my own behaviour, and an understanding of why I should want to use them when coaching.
- What has resonated: that the journey to self-awareness (let alone self-mastery) is a long one, but very worthwhile.
- What has challenged: that I lack self-awareness “in the moment”.
- What has extended my ideas about the place and value of self-awareness in coaching: that self-awareness can be a tool to create change — in the coach, and for the player.
Almost since taking my first sports coaching qualification, I have subscribed to the mantra “I am the players’ coach, they are not my players”, and I had interpreted that to mean that my position, as a coach, was of secondary importance — I had, perhaps, relegated my self, along with my ego, to the substitutes bench.
Working through this course has opened my eyes to the vital role of coach self-awareness in the servant-leader function — only by being consistent, by being true to one’s own inner values, can one truly serve the best needs of the athlete.
And that consistency only comes through “[a]ctively fine-tuning who we’re being when we’re doing what we’re doing”…and that still seems especially challenging!
I really do recommend this course to all coaches, at any level and in any sport.