Growing up, my understanding of coaching was formed mostly around the coaches I had when playing sports, such as basketball and soccer. As the coaching powerpoint states, as a coach, it is important to be a mentor, a resource provider, and a leader. I believe these are three important qualities that every coach should have, whether the coaching involves an academic aspect, such as literacy, or a social aspect, such as a sport. Although I do not have experience with working directly with a literacy coach, I have a greater understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a literacy coach after completing the readings, reading the powerpoint, and connecting literacy coaching to my own experiences with coaching. I tried to apply my own experiences, along with the new information I learned about coaching, when coaching my fellow peer, Bridget, on the sport of soccer.
Additionally, I am a lifelong learner because I am still playing soccer today, as well as watching the sport on TV so I am constantly learning new things about it myself. Lastly, Bridget and I have collaborated on group projects and work in the past, so I knew we would have an effective communication style and would be able to solve any complications in an appropriate and non-violent matter.
After reading the powerpoint about Coaching, I reflected on the ways in which I could be an effective coach for Bridget before beginning to coach her. I have been playing soccer since I was 5, so I have a strong knowledge base of the rules of soccer.
I was excited to try new strategies and methods to make my coaching even more effective, such as being supportive, organized, and working on my presentation skills when explaining important information. From the powerpoint "Becoming a Literacy Coach!", Karen V. James states one of the first big steps to take is to take stock in your environment. Thus, Bridget and I went to a soccer field located on campus. Since Bridget was unfamiliar with soccer vernacular, I brought a dry erase board to the field to write down important terms and phrases to help her better understand the sport in a more effective manner. These vocabulary words included, but were not limited to, goal, throw-in, penalty box, defense, and off-sides. I believe writing the terms for Bridget helped her develop a better understanding for the sport because I made sure to start small, and build off of these terms and how they connect to the sport of soccer. As the literacy coaching powerpoint states, "it is important to focus on small steps that will show immediate results" when coaching.
It is important to focus on the positive outcomes when reflecting on a coaching experience. Some of the positive outcomes after I coached Bridget in soccer include working directly with Bridget when coaching her, presenting important vocabulary and terms for her in both a written and physical manner at the soccer field, supporting her improvements by answering questions she had throughout the coaching. Soccer can be a confusing sport to learn, and I acknowledged this when implementing my coaching skills by making sure I was clear and organized with my definitions and explanations. I used language that Bridget would easily understand when defining terms for minimal confusions when coaching.
Great job Bridget!
When reflecting, it is also important to reflect on the aspects of my coaching that could have been more effective. When coaching Bridget, I did not allow a window or much time for her to ask me questions about soccer. I feel that this is important when coaching another individual because by Bridget asking me questions, this would have been an effective way for me to clarify any confusions she may have had before moving forward with other soccer concepts. In order to be a more effective coach, this is one practice I need to implement into my coaching in the future. Secondly, I wish I had provided Bridget with more specific examples when explaining soccer. I think relating concepts of the game to her using examples would have been a more effective approach while coaching her. Examples can help clarify certain concepts. A coach is an excellent resource on a specific topic, and I am looking forward to learning how to be an even more effective coach throughout my teaching experiences.