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Zoe Knowles and David Gilbourne

The present article contemplates the future of reflective practice in the domain of applied sport psychology and, in so doing, seeks to engender further critical debate and comment. More specifically, the discussion to follow revisits the topic of ‘reflective-levels’ and builds a case for ‘critical reflection’ as an aspiration for those engaged in pedagogy or applied sport psychology training regimens. Assumptions and commentators associated with critical social science (e.g., Habermas, 1974; Carr & Kemmis, 1986), action research (e.g., Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Leitch & Day, 2000), and critical reflection (e.g., Morgan, 2007) suggest a number of foundation points from which critical reflection might be better understood. Finally, writing about ones-self via the processes of critical reflection and through reflective practice more generally are briefly considered in cautionary terms (Bleakley, 2000; du Preez, 2008). Auto-ethnography in sport (Gilbourne, 2002; Stone, 2009) is finally proposed as one potential source of illustration and inspiration for reflective practitioners in terms of both content and style.

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Alisa G. Anderson, Zöe Knowles and David Gilbourne

Current training models appear ill equipped to support sport psychology trainees in learning the requisite humanistic skills to provide athlete-centered services (Petitpas, Giges, & Danish, 1999). The aim of this paper is to build a case for the value of reflective practice as an approach to professional training and development that can assist practitioners in effectively managing themselves in practice. In developing the case for reflective practice, we discuss the nature of professional knowledge (Schön, 1987), define reflection, and present popular models of the reflective process from “educare” professions. In addition, we consider the application of reflective practice within sport psychology practice and highlight how reflective practice can benefit the professional and personal development of practitioners. Finally, discussion on appropriate outlets for the dissemination of reflective narratives is undertaken.

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Zoe Knowles, Jonathan Katz and David Gilbourne

This paper examines reflective practice by illustrating and commenting upon aspects of an elite sport psychology practitioner’s reflective processes. Extracts from a practitioner’s reflective diary, maintained during attendance at a major sporting event, focused upon issues that relate to on-going relationships and communication with fellow practitioners and athletes. Authors one and three offered subsequent comment on these accounts to facilitate movement toward critical reflection via an intrapersonal process creating considerations for the practitioners with regard to skills and personal development. These issues are discussed in relation to pragmatic topics such as “staged” and “layered” reflection encouraged by author collaboration and shared writing within the present paper. We argue these outcomes against more philosophical/opaque considerations such as the progression of critical reflection and critical social science.

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Zöe Knowles, David Gilbourne, Victoria Tomlinson and Ailsa G. Anderson

In the UK, sport psychologists are presently supervised under the auspices of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES). In the present article, reflective practice is evaluated as a process that can facilitate the supervisory exercise in applied sport psychology (Anderson, Knowles, & Gilbourne, 2004). The material presented was collated via a 3-year longitudinal supervisory process based on the process of staged reflection (Knowles, Gilbourne, Borrie, & Nevill, 2001). The benefits of staged reflective development in the supervision process are highlighted, while differentiating between reflective techniques both in and on action. The present article also considers how different writing styles develop through the different phases of discussion and revisits the challenges associated with representing reflective practice.

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Lee Nelson, Paul Potrac, David Gilbourne, Ashley Allanson, Laura Gale and Phil Marshall

This paper aimed to shed light on the emotional nature of practice in coaching. In particular, this article was designed to explore the relationship between emotion, cognition, and behavior in the coaching context, through a narrative exploration of Zach’s (a pseudonym) experiences as the head coach of a semiprofessional soccer team. Data for this study were collected through a series of in-depth semistructured interviews that were transcribed verbatim and subject to inductive analysis. Two embracing categories were identified in the interview data. The first demonstrated how Zach frequently concealed his true emotions and enacted others in an attempt to achieve his desired ends. The second highlighted how Zach’s past experiences as a player had influenced how he wished to portray himself to his squad, and, importantly, helped him to sympathize with the thoughts and feelings of his players. Here, Lazarus and Folkman’s (1986) cognitive appraisal theory, Denzin’s (1984) writings on understanding emotions, and Hochschild’s (1983) work on emotional labor were used to offer one suggested, but not conclusive, reading of the emotional aspects of Zach’s practice.