Think aloud: Towards a framework to facilitate reflective practice in rugby league coaches
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Objectives: To develop, design and evaluate a protocol encompassing think aloud, description and reflection to aid coach development. Introduction: Reflective practice has been used to facilitate learning within the coaching context, however challenges still exists around how reflective practice is conceptualised and applied. The ‘Think Aloud’ protocol whereby participants provide audible reflections is yet to be utilised within coaching and may offer new insights in ways to further embed reflective practice within coaching practice. Design: This intervention based study required elite coaches to ’Think Aloud’ whilst coaching a group of rugby players to subsequently inform description and stimulate reflection on practice fostered through a bespoke educational training and support programme. Methods: 6 male, UKCC level 2 coaches ranging from ages 25-48 (mean age 36.2 years) from a Super League Rugby club in the UK gave consent to participate. None of the coaches self-reported that they had been exposed to any formal reflective practice CPD material. Coaches were supported to Think Aloud’ whilst coaching and to engage in immediate post session reflection on conclusion. Think Aloud and reflective data was captured by digital recorder and microphone fixed to the participants. Verbatim transcripts were made available to support the latter and were inductively/deductively analysed by the research team. Coaches were then supported with delayed, facilitated reflection using the self-review and analysis outcomes from their data. Results: The protocol allowed facilitation and evidencing of reflection on coaching practice. Transcript analysis revealed how coaches’ post session reflections developed as a consequence of the education and support programme offered to that of an independent, self-regulating and supported process commensurate with that expected to facilitate practitioner development. Conclusion: Think aloud protocol analysis can be a valuable tool for 1) collecting in event data during a coaching session and 2) to develop and evidence reflection for coaches with relevance to that of allied practitioners and athletes.
British Psychological Society DSEP Conference;
Whitehead, A., Miles, A., Cropley, B., Huntely, T. & Knowles, Z. (2015) Think aloud: Towards a framework to facilitate reflective practice in rugby league coaches [Poster]. Exhibited at British Psychological Society DSEP Conference, 14-15 December 2015. Leeds: Queens Hotel.
Experimental and applied poster 4230, presented at British Psychological Society DSEP Conference, 14-15 December 2015. Leeds: Queens Hotel
- Sport Research Groups 
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