The Pony Club Australia Proficiency Certificate structure encourages Riding Members to prepare for and take tests which enables them to learn progressively about horse and pony care and riding (horsemanship).
PCQ New Look Coaching
How to Effectively Reflect on a Coaching Session
Table of Contents
- Practise Alone Won’t Make Us Perfect
- The Value of Reflection
- Recording Self-Reflection
- Tips For Successfully Reflecting On Sessions
Practice Alone Won’t Make Us Perfect
“Practice alone won’t make us perfect. Progress happens when we make time for thinking as well as doing.”
Progress occurs when we combine practice with reflection. But how do we find time to properly reflect in this time-compressed world?
I can’t emphasize enough the value in setting aside time to think about how a coaching session went. What worked? What didn’t? What did you learn?
The Value of Reflection
Coaching lists self-reflection as one of The Top Ten Qualities You Need To Be A Coach.
Self-reflection helps you to:
- Grow and develop as a coach
- Learn from the past
- Not repeat mistakes
- Find ways to tweak and tune your delivery and your sessions
- Better understand yourself
- Consistently improve
- Any type of reflection is better than none, but to be effective, self-reflection has to be more than just a few random thoughts on the way home.
- Ideally you want to go deeper than this and have some type of record of your musings that you can later return to.
- The real power comes from formally recording your thoughts and using them to drive action for your next coaching effort.
- Without recording your thoughts, examining them, and formulating a response, it is unlikely that any real change for the better will occur.
- Such records are also a marvelous resource to keep and fascinating to look back over.
- In saying this, and despite being completely sold on the idea, I have struggled with being consistent with this process.
- For me, it certainly doesn’t happen perfectly every time. It is sometimes rushed, it is sometimes done days later, it sometimes doesn’t happen at all.
- A couple of years ago, I started photographing my lesson plans using the Day One journal app, then adding a text-based review following the session. This actually worked OK, but it still meant that I was scribbling a lesson plan on a piece of paper and then had to remember to photograph it. It was also difficult to keep all of the entries together.
- It is only very recently that I have started to piece together a procedure that is showing real promise.
Links: Day One Journal App
Tips For Successfully Reflecting On Sessions
Ultimately, you need to find a method that works best for you.
Here are three key tips that worked for me.
Tip 1: Use an Online Notebook
For me, planning my sessions in an online notebook has huge advantages when it comes to accessing and retrieving notes.
I use Evernote. I love its accessibility (the premium plan – which I have – allows you to create and modify notes on an unlimited number of devices; the fee plan currently allows two devices per account). I find my records are easy to enter, store, manage, search and retrieve. I love how all of my session plans and reviews can be kept together in an online folder – no searching desperately for, or through, paper notebooks.
I haven’t tried it yet, but there is also the option to record audio notes, audio to text and images as part of the review. I am also interested in using the “Reminder” function in Evernote as prompts to ensure I plan and review my sessions in a timely manner – anything that helps!
Tip 2: Create a Template
I’ve created and customised a template in Evernote. The template is a table into which I write and review my session plans. The template gives my plans and reviews a consistent structure, helping to prompt the type of information that I need to record.
It simplifies the whole process, making it more likely I will follow through with it. It is easy to enter, alter, update and add to the information that the template contains.
Pictured (below) is the template that I am currently using to plan and review my coaching sessions. It isn’t perfect and is still a work in progress, but it may help you create your own.
Tip 3: Record Your Learnings & What To Focus On Next
The final item in the above template are “Session Reflection / Learnings”. This is important to complete for future sessions. If you reflect deeply enough, you will discover something you have learned (or had reinforced) from every session. Without being prompted to formally record something you have learned, you may miss it or forget about it.
Having to determine a focus for your next session will force you to prioritise your learnings and ensure that action from them is planned into the next session. In other words, you will find yourself starting to plan your next session while you are reflecting on the one just completed.
You want the self-reflection process to be as easy as possible, while being as effective as possible. To give yourself the best chance of consistently and effectively reflecting on your sessions:
- Choose an easily accessible medium where your records simple to capture, store, manage, search and retrieve.
- Use a template for your session plans and reviews.
- Ensure you record what you have learned and what actions will result from your learnings.
Over To You!
If you are not formally reflecting on your coaching sessions, I highly recommend that you start doing so. If you are looking for ideas about how to do it, try creating a template in an online notebook.
Michael Carlson State Chief Instructor Pony Club Queensland T 07 3216 1255 | M +61 4 177 464 36 E firstname.lastname@example.org | www.ponyclubqld.com.au A PO Box 293, Northgate Q 4013 | Unit 3/14 Ashtan Pl, Banyo Q 4014.
Coaching Videos: Series 13 - Riding - Turn on Forehand (Click here for access to Videos)
Series 13 – Riding – Turn on Forehand (Right & Left)
PART-1: Riding – Turn on Forehand > Right
PART-2: Riding – Turn on Forehand > Left
Coaching Videos: Series 12 - Ground Handling - Moves Horse's Quarters (Click here for access to Videos)
Series 12 – Ground Handling – Moves Horse’s Quarters (Right & Left)
PART-1: Ground Handling – Moves Horse’s Quarters > Right
PART-2: Ground Handling – Moves Horse’s Quarters > Left
Coaching Videos: Series 11 - Riding - Moves Horses Shoulders (Click here for access to Videos)
Series 11 – Riding – Moves Horses Shoulders (Right & Left)
PART-1: Riding – Moves Horses Shoulders > Right
PART-2: Riding – Moves Horses Shoulders > Left
Coaching Videos: Series 10 - Ground Handling - Moves Horses Shoulders (Click here for access to Videos)
Series 10 – Ground Handling
PART-1: Moves Horses Shoulders > Right
PART-2: Moves Horses Shoulders > Left
Coaching Videos: Series 9 - Riding Forward to Walk/Slow/Stop/Turn (Click here for access to Videos)
PART-1: Riding Forward to Walk
PART-2: Riding Forward to Trot
PART-3: How to use Reins to Slow or Stop
PART-4: Riding Forward to Stop
PART-5: Riding & Turning
Coaching Videos: Series 8 - Rein Hold (Click here for access to Videos & Activity Sheet)
Coaching Videos: Series 7 - Ground Handling - Stop/Go/Step Back/Slow Down (Click here for access to Videos & Activity Sheet)
Coaching Videos - Bridling & Unbridling (Click here for access to Videos & Activity Sheet)
3. Fitting Bit
Coaching Videos - Using Farrier Tools (Click here for access to Videos & Activity Sheet)
Part 1 Tools
Part 2 Shoe Removal
Part 3 Hoof Preparation
Part 4 Attaching Shoe
Coaching Videos - Saddle Fitting - Structure/Position/Clearance/Seated (Click here for access to Videos & Activity Sheet)
- Horse Structure
- Saddle Position
- Gullet Clearance
- Seated Rider
- Fit Verification
Coaching Videos - Grooming & Saddle Structure
- Video & Activity Sheet – April 2020
- Grooming -Part 1
Body Brush – Part 2
Curry Comb – Part 3
Mane & Tail – Part 4
Hoofs – Part 5
Activity Sheet – PCQ – Grooming – Activity Sheet Saddle Structure – Part 1
Saddle Structure – Part 2
Saddle Structure – Part 3
Virtual Training/Activities Guidelines
State Chief Instructor’s Panel
|State Chief Instructor:||Michael Carlson||0417 746 436|
|Deputy Chief Instructors:||Stephanie Commens||0428 633 235|
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