Coach developers and reflective practice: evaluating exercises, mechanisms, and challenges in facilitating reflection within novice coach education

Kevin Costello, Rosie Jewitt-Beck, Thomas M. Leeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Developing coaches as reflective practitioners is a key tenet of coach education frameworks, with coach developers playing a significant role in facilitating reflection. Consequently, the aim of this research was to explore the exercises, mechanisms, and challenges coach developers utilise and face when facilitating reflective practice within formal coach education. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with six active coach developers within an Irish sport governing body (SGB), with transcripts subject to a reflexive thematic analysis process. Findings indicated that while coach developers’ understanding and conceptualisation of reflective practice varied, they each attempted to facilitate reflection through similar pedagogical practices. Specifically, coach developers’ roles included adapting sessions to utilise learning opportunities, addressing the needs of coaches struggling with reflective practice mechanisms, and active engagement through prompts and feedback. While the relationship between the coach developer and coach was deemed significant in facilitating reflection, time constraints were highlighted as a major challenge when seeking to enable meaningful reflection. Furthermore, learners’ motivations for, and attitudes towards, coach education influenced their engagement in reflective discussions. This research adds to the growing body of literature on coach developers by specifically highlighting the practical demands they face in facilitating reflective practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-294
Number of pages16
JournalReflective Practice
Issue number3
Early online date12 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

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