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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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Laura J. Houghton and Zoe R. Knowles

The purpose of this case study is to offer reflections on the personal experiences, processes of behavioral change; and subsequent outcomes of designing and implementing a collaborative exercise psychology intervention. The intervention, based on Bandura’s (1977) Self Efficacy Theory and using self-efficacy related behavior change techniques (Michie et al., 2015), aimed to provide families affected by health inequalities with opportunities to enhance their understanding of health and make positive behavioral changes. This case is based around one female client aged 48 years of age who took part in the project with her ten-year-old daughter. Pre-intervention the client was engaging in minimal levels of weekly physical activity and reported poor self-rated mental well-being. Through improvements in self-efficacy, achieved through opportunities on the project, the client was able to make notable improvements to her physical activity levels leading to significant weight loss and improvements in mental well-being. From the practitioners’ perspective, reflection on areas for future work within the field of exercise psychology, particularly guidance on developing effective client-practitioner relationships with ‘hard-to-reach’ individuals and groups is warranted. More consideration for the suitability of the PA guidelines for individuals with poor physical and mental health is also required.

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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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Zoe Rebecca Knowles, Daniel Parnell, Gareth Stratton and Nicola Diane Ridgers

Background:

Qualitative research into the effect of school recess on children’s physical activity is currently limited. This study used a write and draw technique to explore children’s perceptions of physical activity opportunities during recess.

Methods:

299 children age 7−11 years from 3 primary schools were enlisted. Children were grouped into Years 3 & 4 and Years 5 & 6 and completed a write and draw task focusing on likes and dislikes. Pen profiles were used to analyze the data.

Results:

Results indicated ‘likes’ focused on play, positive social interaction, and games across both age groups but showed an increasing dominance of games with an appreciation for being outdoors with age. ‘Dislikes’ focused on dysfunctional interactions linked with bullying, membership, equipment, and conflict for playground space. Football was a dominant feature across both age groups and ‘likes/dislikes’ that caused conflict and dominated the physically active games undertaken.

Conclusion:

Recess was important for the development of conflict management and social skills and contributed to physical activity engagement. The findings contradict suggestions that time spent in recess should be reduced because of behavioral issues.

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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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Mareesa O’Dwyer, Stuart J. Fairclough, Nicola Diane Ridgers, Zoe Rebecca Knowles, Lawrence Foweather and Gareth Stratton

Background:

Identifying periods of the day which are susceptible to varying levels of physical activity (PA) may help identify key times to intervene and potentially change preschool children’s PA behaviors. This study assessed variability of objectively measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during weekdays and weekend days among preschool children.

Methods:

One hundred and eighty-eight children (aged 3 to 5 years; 53.2% boys) from a northwest English city wore uni-axial accelerometers for 7 consecutive days.

Results:

Higher levels of MVPA were recorded in boys, particularly those who attended preschool for a half day. Children who attended preschool for a full day engaged in 11.1 minutes less MVPA than children who attended for a half day. After-school hours were characterized by a decrease in activity for all groups. Patterns of activity during the weekend were smoother with less variability.

Conclusion:

This study identified discrete segments of the week, specifically afterschool and during the weekend, when preschoolers engage in low levels of PA. Higher levels of MVPA among children who attended preschool for less time each day suggests that the structured preschool environment is related to decreased activity. Consequently, there is a need for interventions in young children to focus on school and home environments.

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Amy Elizabeth Whitehead, Brendan Cropley, Tabo Huntley, Andy Miles, Laura Quayle and Zoe Knowles

This study aimed to design, implement and evaluate a protocol encompassing Think Aloud (TA) as a technique to facilitate reflection-in-action and delayed reflection-on-action to aid coach learning. Six British, male rugby league coaches, who reported little previous exposure to reflective practice, consented to participate. Participants were: (a) instructed on how to engage in TA; (b) observed in practice using TA; (c) provided with individual support on delayed reflective practice on their first coaching session and use of TA; (d) observed in practice using TA a second time; and (e) engaged in a social validation interview regarding their experiences of TA. Analysis of in-action verbalizations revealed a shift from descriptive verbalizations to a deeper level of reflection. Both immediate and post eight week social validation interviews revealed that coaches developed an increased awareness, enhanced communication, and pedagogical development. The participants also recommended that TA can be a valuable tool for: (a) collecting in-event data during a coaching session; and (b) developing and evidencing reflection for coaches. Future recommendations were also provided by the participants and consequently, this study offers a unique technique to reflective practice that has the potential to meet the learning development needs of coaches.

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Samantha J. Downs, Stuart J. Fairclough, Zoe R. Knowles and Lynne M. Boddy

The aim of this study was to assess the physical activity (PA) patterns of youth with intellectual disabilities (ID). PA was monitored for 7 days in 70 participants, 5–15 years old, using accelerometers. There were 32 participants included in the final analysis. Habitual PA and the number of continuous bouts accrued for a range of bout lengths (5–600 s) for light (LPA), moderate (MPA), and vigorous (VPA) PA were calculated. Multivariate analysis of covariance was used to assess differences in the number of continuous bouts by sex, age, and ID group and between week and weekend days. Participants exhibited short sporadic bursts of activity. The number of continuous bouts decreased as the intensity and duration increased. Few differences in PA patterns were reported by sex, ID group, and age group and between week and weekend days, possibly due to the generally low PA levels in this population.

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Richard M.H. Briegel-Jones, Zoe Knowles, Martin R. Eubank, Katie Giannoulatos and Diane Elliot

Research has indicated positive effects of mindfulness training as a performance-based intervention and of yoga on mindfulness. This study examined the effects of a 10-week yoga intervention on mindfulness and dispositional flow of elite youth swimmers using a mixed methods design. No significant changes in mindfulness and dispositional flow were identified. Qualitative data suggested that the 10-week yoga intervention had a positive impact on a range of physiological, cognitive, and performance parameters that included elements of mindfulness and flow. Methodological considerations for future research are discussed.