How might reflective practice help athletes to develop more accurate perceptions of performance as a way of improving future development?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The emergence of reflective practice in the fields of education and coaching has led to research investigating the potential value of reflection for the development of athletic performance (e.g., Faull & Cropley, 2009). However, understanding of the relevance and impact of reflective practise in this field is still in its infancy. This study aimed, therefore, to investigate the effects of reflective practice on perceptions of performance of an athlete in a team sport setting. The study explored: (a) factors influencing perceptions; (b) the impact of reflective practice on self-awareness and changes in perceptions; and (c) the effect of such changes on training regimes. Using a case study approach, an elite, female football player was purposively selected to participate in a six week (six match) data collection period. Specifically, player perceptions were assessed at full-time and at 48 hours post-match, following a period of reflective practise, using a modified version of the EASDQ. During the 48 hour post-match collection period a brief interview was also conducted to explore changes in perceptions of performance. Finally, a social validation interview was conducted following the final game to examine the participant’s experience over the entire study. Findings indicated that reflection facilitated a change in perceptions of performance, from negative interpretations to more positive ones. The participant placed high importance on critical match incident and the opinions of significant others when reflecting. The participant noted that reflecting improved her awareness of strengths and weaknesses of each performance as well as her overall ability, leading to changes in her training regime. Consequently, reflection could be a useful tool in analysing and tracking performances as well as highlighting specific attributes that are vital to performance. Findings of the study give an indication as to the usefulness of reflection to in a team sport setting and have the potential to guide applied sports practitioners in their delivery of reflection to team sport performers.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND EXERCISE SCIENCE
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