Reflective Coaching Practice Soccer Psychology & Mental Skills Training

Reflective Coaching is considered a key factor in expert learning. It refers to the extent to which individuals are able to appraise what they have learned and to integrate these experiences into future actions, thereby maximizing performance improvements.

Reflective practice has come to be recognised as a core element of professional expertise and development. Reflective practice refers to one’s ability to analyse their own practice, adding problem solving into the learning by doing, or application of critical theory to the examination of professional practice.

Each form of reflective practice will raise a number of issues for sporting personnel particularly in terms of the way they view their practice. This reflection process is vitally important for self-development & should be performed by all individuals searching for enhanced skills (e.g. players, coaches, performance staff, medical staff, technical analysis).

It has been suggested that reflective practice is an idea used in education studies and pedagogy and is delivered within ISSPF through faculty member and UEFA PRO Licence Coach, Thomas Pratl who delivers a fantastic module into self-reflective practice and what it looks like in a team sport environment.

Reflection has been reported as a ‘persistent and careful consideration of any belief or supposed form of knowledge in the light of the grounds that support it, and the further conclusions to which it tends’ (Dewey, 1910).

Previous research has also suggested that before a coach can achieve effective reflection three personal characteristics have to be met.

  1. Open-mindedness- this is the desire to want to learn more than you already know
  2. Wholeheartedness – this is the enthusiasm to want to learn more about a specific subject
  3. Responsibility- this is to take the accountability of your actions, positive or negative.

What is Soccer Psychology?

  • Soccer psychology is the use of psychological knowledge & skills to optimize performance and well-being of players.
  • maximising the developmental aspects of sports participation & understanding the systemic issues associated with sports settings and organizations.

What is Mental Skills Training?

  • Mental skills training is the process involving methods & techniques to improve performance.
  • Techniques involve developing self-confidence & creating a positive mind-set through goal setting, positive self-talk, visualization, imagery & self-efficacy.

Key Areas of Soccer Psychology

For soccer coaches and management or performance staff the concept of self-confidence is not as important as it is for others as they know what it is, how much is needed and how to deal with situations. However, self-confidence is so palpable in some players, staff or athletes you can almost reach out and touch it. Their confidence is reflected in everything they say and do, in what they wear and how they look.

According to literature in this area, performance success & accomplishment is known to be the strongest contributor to sport confidence, progression and development.

When you perform any skill or task successfully, individuals generate and gain more confidence, and in general will be willing to attempt something slightly more difficult or challenging.

Personal success breeds confidence, while repeated personal failure diminishes it….how as a coach or individual involved with the development of athletes or players can you provide an environments to succeed and gain confidence from a sport specific context. 

Here at ISSPF we aim to give you the tools to progress yourself and your athletes, players or teams.

The Importance of Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is described as being at its highest when you believe in your own ability and feel that you have properly prepared for a competition.

Motivation is the foundation of all athletic effort and accomplishment. To become the best athlete or coaching staff you can be, you must be motivated to do what it takes to maximize your ability and achieve your goals.

Motivation, simply defined, is the ability to initiate and persist at a task. From a coaching perspective – how you maximise your players, athletes or staff’s motivation levels? What makes them tick? What is their main motivation to perform and how can you as a leader draw that out of them! 

Understanding what gets your players prepared to perform is key as a coach, manager or leader of a department and ISSPF have the experts ready to deliver some key interventions and modules to help you progress within team sport environments.

How Do I Improve My Football Training?

The ISSPF Certificate in Soccer Psychology & Mental Skills Training is the perfect online soccer psychology course to not only learn from world leaders in the area, understand the development & application within team sports, but also to be able to enhance your role & guidance as a coach, practitioner, performance or medical staff member.

All of these questions, skills & components are needed to be able to compete & progress to the next level irrespective of the job or role you perform!

The fact elite players are not only describing the importance of ‘sport science’ support staff within the International team set up at major tournaments but really utilising them shows the need for the continued education in this area to promote development in football or soccer science.

Improve Your Soccer Job Opportunities

The demand for sport psychologists & mental skills training specialists with a focus on football science is growing year upon year. Thousands of coaches, students & independent learners with qualifications, coaching badges & sport science degrees, are asking the key question – How do I get a job in football? What’s the next step? Which area of sport science do I want to specialise in? What is the role of sports psychologist?

The bespoke courses developed by ISSPF Faculty members are a way of further exposing sport science students, individuals working within the game & other football science enthusiasts with a thirst to develop further in this area.

The link below will take you to the hugely popular & expertly designed ISSPF expertly endorsed, & accredited Online Football Psychology & Mental Skills Training online sport psychology courses, where you will be exposed to football science research and practical examples used within varying levels of team sports. 

How Will This Course Help Me?

  • Understanding the key components of what drives coaches, players, & athletes to succeed is of paramount importance.
  • Developing strategies in order to prepare individuals for both training & competitive games from a psychological perspective is of great benefit to coaches & practitioners.
  • Coaches & performance practitioners can make huge advances in this under-applied area of coaching & sport science.
  • This course is developed specifically to enhance the coaching & performance process.
  • All practitioners & coaches can only benefit themselves & their players even further by having a more in-depth knowledge of applied psychology & mental skills training development.
  • May help us to maximise our decision making through a better understanding & appreciation of psychological & mental skill principles.

Is this Course for Me?

  • Are you tasked with the responsibility for the training & coaching aspects of both individual athletes or team sports?
  • Do you have an interest in developing knowledge in the preparation, training & development of individual athletes or team sports?
  • Are you a sports psychologist keen to understand more about football science & football training?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then this course is for you!

More Course Information

  • Average Workload: 20 hours total (pre-lecture reading + online content + questions + assignment)
  • Delivery Method: Online-based
  • Language Delivered: English

What Does the Course Cover?

This is what the ISSPF Online Soccer Psychology & Mental Skills course covers;

1. Motivational climate within a performance environment – Delivered by Sarah Murray (Brighton and Hove Albion FC)

2. Pressurised environments: Decision making processes – Delivered by Daniel Dymond (University of Queensland, Australia)

3. Emotional intelligence within the soccer environment – Delivered by Thomas Pratl (UEFA Pro Licence)

4. Player Motivation: Goal Setting in Soccer – Delivered by Jorge David Mora Anzola (Millionaires CF, Colombia)

5. Resilience in soccer: Dealing with adversity – Delivered by Dr. Tanja Ecken (Bundesliga specialist, Germany)

6. Guiding player development in soccer: The role of the coach – Delivered by Martin Macháček (SK Slavia Praha, Czech Republic)

7. Understanding different soccer personalities: Coach & player integration – Delivered by Sion Rowlands (Leicester City FC)

8. Talent identification: Observation & assessment in training & competition – Delivered by Pedro Assis (FC Porto)

9. Soccer specific skill acquisition: Long term player development pathway – Delivered by Jorge David Mora Anzola (Millionaires CF, Colombia)

10. Leadership and Culture for High Performance Soccer – Delivered by Max Lankheit (San Jose Earthquakes, Major League Soccer Team)

Intermediate Certificate in Soccer Psychology

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