A reflective approach to practice is consistently espoused as a key tool for understanding and enhancing coach learning and raising the vocational standards of coaches. As such, there is a clear need for practical tools and processes that might facilitate the development and measurement of “appropriate” reflective skills. The aim of this preliminary study was to explore the use of online blogs as a tool to support refection and community of practice in a cohort of undergraduate sports coaching students. Twenty-six students (6 females, 20 males) reflected on their coaching practice via blogs created specifically for refection. Blogs were subjected to category and content analysis to identify the focus of entries and to determine both the emergent reflective quality of posts and the extent to which an online community of practice emerged. Findings revealed that descriptive refection exceeded that of a critical nature, however, bloggers exhibited a positive trajectory toward higher order thinking and blogs were an effective platform for supporting tutor-student interaction. Despite the peer discourse features of blogs, collaborative refection was conspicuous by its absence and an online community of practice did not emerge.
John Stoszkowski leads the Sports Coaching Practice degree programme at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. His research interests include coach development and education, and the facilitation of talent development. Previously, he held player and coach development roles at the Professional Golfers’ Association and England Golf, and was managing director of a private coaching enterprise specialising in school sport. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Dave Collins has over 200 peer review publications and 40 books/chapters. His research interests include performer/coach development, cognitive expertise, and the promotion of peak performance. He has worked with over 60 World or Olympic medallists plus professional teams and performers. He is director of the Rugby Coaches Association, iZone Driver Performance, fellow of the Society of Martial Arts, ZSL, BASES, associate fellow of the British Psychological Society and an ex Royal Marine.