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Metacognition and Professional Judgment and Decision Making in Coaching: Importance, Application and Evaluation



Previous research has emphasised the dynamic nature of coaching practice and the need to consider both individual performer needs and necessary contextual trade-offs in providing optimum solutions. In this regard, a Professional Judgment and Decision Making framework has been suggested to facilitate an optimum blend of actions against these complex and dynamic demands. Accordingly, we extend this work and address recent calls for greater focus on expertise-oriented assessments, by postulating on the aspirant/developing coach’s capacity for and development of metacognition (i.e., active control over cognitive processes) as a ‘tool’ within the reflective process. Specifically, we propose that metacognition enables essential active cognitive processing for deep learning and impactful application, together with construction and refinement of useable knowledge to inform coaching decisions. Metacognition, therefore, helps to contextualise knowledge provided in training, further optimising the experience, particularly before certification. Finally, we exemplify how metacognition can be developed in coaches through the use of cognitive apprenticeships and decision training tools; and evaluated via a series of observed coaching episodes, with reasoning articulated through pre and postsession interview. Despite challenging traditional competency-based approaches to coach education, we believe that a considered mixed approach represents a vital next step in further professionalising sports coaching.
This is a pre-proof corrected manuscript, as accepted for publication, of an article published
by Human Kinetics in International Sport Coaching Journal on 22nd October 2016, available
online at:
Metacognition and Professional Judgment and Decision Making in Coaching: Importance,
Application and Evaluation
Loel Collins*, Howie J. Carson and Dave Collins
Institute for Coaching and Performance, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Loel Collins, Institute for
Coaching and Performance, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK, PR1 2HE. Email:
Previous research has emphasised the dynamic nature of coaching practice and the need to
consider both individual performer needs and necessary contextual trade-offs in providing
optimum solutions. In this regard, a Professional Judgment and Decision Making framework
has been suggested to facilitate an optimum blend of actions against these complex and
dynamic demands. Accordingly, we extend this work and address recent calls for greater
focus on expertise-oriented assessments, by postulating on the aspirant/developing coach’s
capacity for and development of metacognition (i.e., active control over cognitive processes)
as a ‘tool’ within the reflective process. Specifically, we propose that metacognition enables
essential active cognitive processing for deep learning and impactful application, together
with construction and refinement of useable knowledge to inform coaching decisions.
Metacognition, therefore, helps to contextualise knowledge provided in training, further
optimising the experience, particularly before certification. Finally, we exemplify how
metacognition can be developed in coaches through the use of cognitive apprenticeships and
decision training tools; and evaluated via a series of observed coaching episodes, with
reasoning articulated through pre and postsession interview. Despite challenging traditional
competency-based approaches to coach education, we believe that a considered mixed
approach represents a vital next step in further professionalising sports coaching.
Key words: Assessment; Coach education; Development; Expertise; Training
Metacognition and Professional Judgment and Decision Making in Coaching: Importance,
Application and Evaluation
Coaching practice is recognised and demonstrated as a dynamic process (e.g.,
Abraham & Collins, 2011b; L. Collins & Collins, 2012, 2015; Martindale & Collins, 2012).
Such work highlights the need to consider both individual performer needs and contextual
trade-offs in providing optimum solutions. For example, despite a coach predominantly
working to develop long-term performance, they might deviate from this approach to give a
short-term boost to confidence at the expense of skill retention (i.e., a trade-off).
Consequently, the ability to respond quickly and efficiently to selected, or preselected,
subsets of factors is a crucial skill for any coach.
Influenced by the practices of other professions, a process of Professional Judgment
and Decision Making (PJDM) has been suggested within the sport psychology and coaching
literature, to facilitate an optimum blend of actions against such demands. This process,
involving reflection during coaching (in action; Schön, 1983), post coaching activity (on-
action; Schön, 1983) and by creating time within the coaching session/process for reflection
(on-action/in-context; L. Collins & Collins, 2015; Schön, 1987) has, to date, been implicit
within these suggestions. As such, this Insights paper extends these ideas by postulating on
the requisite cognitive skills for a coach to employ a PJDM approach and, consequently, the
implications for training and evaluation.
Successful operationalisation of the PJDM process relies on a coach’s declarative
understanding of ‘what needs to be done’ (e.g., blocked practice to generate a rapid
performance gain or random practice to promote better long-term retention and transferable
skills) which, in turn, cyclically links back to their intentions (Abraham, Collins &
Martindale, 2006); in short, knowing why particular action(s) should be taken in response to
the multifactorial demands of a situation (cf. Winter & Collins, 2015). Of course, knowing
how to enact those decisions is also important. We suggest that integrated application of the
what, why (declarative knowledge) and how (procedural knowledge) of a PJDM approach are
facilitated by metacognitive skills. Specifically, metacognition underpins the ability for
reflection in-action, on-action and on-action/in-context, enabling the essential consideration
and weighing up of alternative coaching options within the PJDM process (Cruickshank,
2013). Crucially, such reflection supports coaches to recognise and address novel or complex
problems while coaching. By addressing the coach’s capacity for and development of
metacognition, we aim to stimulate thought and debate within this developing avenue of
Such concepts will apply across most, if not all, sports; since the PJDM process is
apparent between different contexts (e.g., open vs. closed skill sports), levels of challenge
(e.g., practice vs. competition) and within different environments (e.g., indoor vs. outdoor).
However, our interests lead to a particular focus on Adventure Sports Coaching (ASC); a
hyper-dynamic environment that is especially demanding on coaches’ ability to make
effective decisions (see L. Collins & Collins, 2012, 2015; L. Collins, Collins & Grecic,
2015). Accordingly, the paper is presented in two stages: (1) we introduce and explore
metacognition as a ‘tool’ within the reflective process and (2) we propose how metacognition
can be trained and evaluated in developing/aspirant coaches.
Metacognition and Reflective Thinking within the PJDM Process
In part, the practical success of a PJDM framework relies on a coachs understanding
of the situational demands (Abraham & Collins, 2011a). However, less attention has been
directed towards coaches knowing how to apply aspects of their knowledge, that is, the
process of translating theory into practice. In offering a potential solution, Abraham and
Collins (2011b) proposed that PJDM requires a process of nested decisions that are
developed via nuanced in-action, on-action and on-action/in-context reflective processes.
Inevitably, therefore, alternative actions are always generated, contextualised and critically
considered against intended outcomes when using this approach. Working without reflection
could explain why coaches sometimes make suboptimal decisions based on heuristic
constructs from personal experience (Collins & Collins, 2016b). In other words, Naturalistic
Decision Making processes are potentially weakened by the coach’s lack of breadth and
depth in experience (Klien, 2008; Lyle, 2003). Accordingly, it would appear essential that
coaches develop metacognitive skills as a necessary adjunct to increasing declarative
knowledge (Abraham & Collins, 2011a), if they are to safeguard themselves against such
potential pitfalls associated with narrowly formed heuristics or ‘recipe coaching’.
When considering the scope of metacognition, Kruger and Dunning (1999) argue that
“the skills that engender competence in a particular domain are often the very same skills
necessary to evaluate competence in that domain—one’s own and anyone else’s” (p. 1121).
Indeed, Kruger and Dunning’s findings imply that those metaskills, including metacognition,
are an important aspect of a coach’s performance evaluation. Crucially within ASC,
understanding one’s own coaching and personal ability has safety implications and
developmental impact (Collins & Collins, 2012). The highly-dynamic coaching environment
in adventure sports, coupled with the inherent risk and requirement for the coach to engage in
the adventure activity, means that the coach must comprehend the interaction between the
task, environment and participant (L. Collins & Collins, 2016a). In summary, Kruger and
Dunning suggest that knowledge used to produce coherent judgments about a situation is the
same as that which underlies the ability to recognise good judgment.
Action, reason and deliberation are central to the Aristotelian notion of phronesis
(practical wisdom). The judgements that are required to exercise practical wisdom, link the
capacity to deliberate, evaluate and take action in a practical way. The constant audit of the
coaching process (D. Collins, Collins & Carson, 2016; L. Collins & Collins, 2016b) includes
an evaluation of the decision making process, itself a metacognitive process. Indeed, these
skills are well suited to the complex coaching environment and presumably, if they can be
articulated can also be taught. Fenichel and Eggbeer (1990) described this process of
enacting phronesis as “the ability to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason”
(p. 21); notably, this quote has become increasingly synonymous with wisdom and is
similarly utilised in the educational domain. In this regard, we can describe phronesis as
good judgment (the how), which differs from the knowledge of coaching (the what) and
could be considered a metaskill. Crucially, however, Claxton and Lucas (2007) proposed
that merely being taught to think is insufficient, being taught to think well is most
appropriate. With these distinctions in place, it is worth exploring the mechanisms which
underpin thinking well as opposed to thinking per se (cf. cognition and metacognition), if we
are to encourage an adaptive, flexible and creative coaching workforce.
In applying effective decision making within a PJDM framework, we suggest that
metacognition is used to operationalise the knowledge generated by coaches’ reflective
process. Consequently, this enables the modification of existing schema and generation of
new versions through a multilooped comparative audit in which current experience and
potential coaching solutions are contrasted and considered (Collins & Collins, 2013). This
adaptation and generation of new, accessible and internalised schemata allows the coach to
be adaptive, flexible and creative in response to situational demands as they unfold. In short,
coaches become capable of accurately selecting and activating an optimum behaviour from a
broader repertoire under naturalistic conditions; that is, a heuristic for adaptive expertise (cf.
de Oliveira, Lobinger & Raab, 2014).
More specifically, metacognition utilises both analogous and metaphoric dimensions
to problem solving. Using analogies, the coach is able to create understanding through a
contextual relationship between the known and the newly experienced coaching scenario (cf.
Carbonell, 1985) and, from this, to select a best fit rather than optimum solution which, in
turn, may be adapted in situ (adaptability and flexibility): for example, linking a carved turn
on skis with a carved turn in a kayak, when a kayaker is on skis for the first time. When
encountering novel and/or poorly defined challenges, the coach reconceptualises the
challenge in a metaphoric way by aligning the experience more broadly with a range of
known strategies and approaches, considering the challenges in a more thematic, or
principled, manner; as shown when asking a skier to “crush a grape under your big toe” to
encourage use of an edging with a ski. Font, Bolite and Acevedo (2010) proposed that such
metaphoric thinking would enable coaches to anticipate, solve and address the novel
problems that are encountered in dynamic environments. In both analogous and metaphoric
thinking, however, there is a requirement for a higher level of contextual thinking skill that is
fundamental to the PJDM process, namely metacognition. The coach processes the flow of
information in each coaching situation (micro level), at an intervention level (meso) and
programme (macro) level. Metacognitive capacity allows the coach to better organise,
prioritise and make accessible (e.g., the metaphoric or analogous strategies) newly
constructed or adapted information across long-term timescales, in this capacity
metacognition improves the flow of information.
Despite this seeming advantage towards designing high-level practice, Collins,
Collins and Carson (2016) identified that metacognition cannot always be articulated by the
coach. Such inability raises concern over how the coach could communicate such nuances
while training or mentoring others. In order to act as a coach educator therefore, an ability to
consider and apply necessary decisions from reflections on-action/in-context (e.g., when
facing new situations or the need to implement trade-off decisions) becomes a critical skill; in
simple terms, an ability to provide a commentary of one’s own metacognition in practice.
The need for metacognitive skills in coach educators is, therefore, an important aspect of
coach education (cf. Kruger & Dunning, 1999).
Metacognition is also important because it enables the active cognitive processing that
is essential for deep learning (Claxton & Lucas, 2007; Schön, 1987) and application,
construction and refinement of useable knowledge. Metacognition helps the coach to
contextualise the knowledge acquired in training, further optimising the experience between
training and certification by providing the tools for reflection and supporting the
developmental aspect of professional practice. As such, we now address how metacognition
might be developed and assessed by training organisations (e.g., national governing bodies)
when implementing a PJDM framework within coach education.
Developing and Evaluating Metacognition within the PJDM Process
A PJDM focus in coach education would need to be in concert with the developments
of an expertise focus for evaluation (EFE) of coaching practice. Furthermore, education and
evaluation would need to reflect the appropriate synergy of skills required in the coaches’
role. Realistically, and despite recent criticisms of competency-based approaches (see
Collins, Bruke, Martindale & Cruickshank, 2015), some aspects of the coach’s performance
will be suitable for competency focused assessment methods. These are essentially the
components of the coaching process (e.g., equipment setup, maintenance, aspects of safety),
the essential content which often has a right or wrong catagorisation, while an expertise-
oriented assessment would measure the interactional and decision making aspects of
coaching in practice; a situation where shades of grey solutions (or ‘it depends’) are more
appropriate. In simple terms, our proposal here is not for an either/or approach, but that
current competency-based approaches, best utilised for specific and stereotypic skills, ought
to also emphasise an expertise-based approach for the complex situations such as coaching.
A mixed assessment strategy in which competency and expertise foci coexist clearly offers a
more valid and reliable assessment of requisite skills. Accordingly, the PJDM tools (e.g.,
metacognition, reflectivity, adaptability and flexibility) will need to be understood by
educators and coaches; they will need to know how knowledge interacts between these
various factors and demonstrate an ability to articulate and utilise them. Therefore, coach
educators should be skilful coaches and educators who can articulate the dynamics of the
coaching process.
Reflecting the teaching of PJDM, this would need to identify flexible, as opposed to
repeated, mental processes (cf. our earlier conceptions of metacognition). In turn, these
require developing coaches to plan, explain and evaluate their own thinking and learning in
addition to their coaching. Both Bolton (2010) and Moon (1999) identify that nonroutine,
open-ended learning tasks involving a degree of uncertainty serve to encourage higher quality
thinking and metacognition. This approach may be challenging for coaches or training
programmes that encourage a routine or proceduralised process. Indeed, recent study
suggests that firmly fixed beliefs in one solution can counter the acceptance and
implementation of others, even when the alternative is proven to be more efficacious
(Yarritu, Matute & Luque, 2015). Accordingly, the shift towards PJDM enables learners to
construct meaning, make judgments and produce multiple solutions to new or unique
problems and to challenge doctrine and dogmatism; all promoted perhaps by a greater
tolerance, acceptance or even pursuit of productive ambiguity. As such, upfront selling and
gaining long-term commitment to this approach will be essential as a fundamental
requirement for intentional, goal-directed change of well-established behaviours (cf. Carson
& Collins, 2011; Prochaska, DiClemente & Norcross, 1992).
Crucially, explicit pedagogies associated with the teaching of metacognition and
PJDM must ensure that the learning transfers beyond the context in which it is taught. In
turn, this must be supported by suitable theoretical underpinning, metacognitive ability,
curriculum design, delivery materials, an explicit epistemology, pedagogy and infrastructure.
In particular, an educational environment in which these skills are valued and demonstrated
as elements of expert practice, a shift towards an adaptive notion of expertise. Notably, this
may necessitate some focused work on broader coach and coach educational cultures before
it can be achieved (cf. Cruickshank & Collins, 2012; Stoszkowski & Collins, 2012).
Metacognitive Approaches in Coach Education
Addressing the combined tuition of practical and cognitive performance elements, the
constructivist approach of a cognitive apprenticeship (CA; Collins, Brown & Newman, 1987)
offers one pedagogic mechanism to this learning. In practice, using approaches such as CA
exposes the implicit processes associated with performing complex skills. In doing so, the
CA approach focuses on articulating and identifying the tacit processes within the
complexity, encouraging students to observe, identify and practice them with help from the
tutor coach. For example, the decisions associated with selecting and placing an anchor
while rock climbing provide opportunity for such an approach. CA requires the learner to
consciously engage in the cognitive aspect of the process, be motivated to learn and to
accurately reproduce the cognitive and motoric aspects of the skill. Adding ecological
strength to such practice, the activity being taught is modelled in a real-world context
utilising explicit coachtrainee interactions. Following this, situated cognition (A. Collins et
al., 1987; Godden & Baddeley, 1975) then aids the development of metacognitive processes
by assisting at the skill level just beyond what the learner could accomplish themselves; that
is, the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978).
To exemplify how a CA may be achieved in the sporting context, consider Vickers’
(2007) decision training model. Indeed, this model reflects a sophisticated epistemological
position (Schommer, 1994) that accepts the integrated nature of practical and cognitive
performance. It may also align with concepts such as Christensen, Sutton and McIlwain’s
(2016) mesh theory that advocates a motoric and cognitive aspect to performance and
learning. Both Vickers’ decision training model and Christensen, Sutton and McIlwain’s
mesh theory provide a pragmatic integration of cognitive and motoric aspects of performance
and offer an alternative to purely technically-focused syllabi. Such approaches may allow the
integration of PJDM into both the education and practice of the coach.
Staying with the constructivist paradigm, problem-based learning strategies focus on
engaging learners in a process of collaborative and self-directed inquiry (Jones & Turner,
2006). Here, the role of the teacher is to guide, facilitate and challenge the learning process
rather than strictly provide knowledge. Accordingly, learners are presented with an authentic
problem and, through discussion within their learning group, prior knowledge is used to
address the problem; thus formulating a shared mental model to explain the problem (Ojala &
Thorpe, 2015). This framework, on which students can construct knowledge relating to the
problem, is managed by the coach educator. Following the generation of a shared mental
model, students work independently in self-directed study to research the specific aspects of
the problem. Finally, the students re-group to discuss and refine their initial explanations
based on what they learnt. As such, students are agents in this socioconstructivist process in
which meaning and interpretations of the world are based on experiences and interactions;
learning becomes a continuous and lifelong process. Identifying a suitable line through a
white water rapid prior to allowing a group to paddle it provides an opportunity with a group
of trainee coaches. In this case, the problem is to descend the rapid in a safe and controlled
manner with a group. Students are allowed to inspect the rapid, individually, prior to
developing a strategy for descent that draws on their previous experiences. Then, the trainee
coaches share each possible approach and construct a shared mental model to descend the
rapid. After paddling the rapid the strategy is reviewed by the team.
As another possible method, transformative teaching strategies address psychological
and behavioural characteristics in an attempt to alter a learner’s perspective relating to an
experience of activity from fundamentally rational and analytical positions (Taylor & Collins,
2016). The approach focuses on altering the learner’s philosophy by challenging the
underlying premises of their perspective. Facilitating such understanding is the goal of a
transformative approach and, in that respect, develops autonomous thinking. Mezirow
(1997) describes the construction of dilemma by providing options and forcing a choice by
the learners. In this way the teacher can facilitate transformation. Transformative
approaches have value in the coach education process: For example, Taylor and Collins
(2016) highlight a transformational approach in addressing a novice coachs epistemology,
transforming a naive epistemological position towards a sophisticated position (Schommer,
Clearly, the development of metacognition plays a pivotal role in these approaches.
However, an important aspect must also be considered, that of the right approach in the right
place at the right time alluded to earlier. We have advocated that a single approach to
assessment is flawed and we must, de facto, extend such observation to teaching approaches
(Collins, Collins & Willmott, 2016); this seems to simply strengthen the need for
metacognition in both coaching and coach education practice.
An EFE process (and the professional development which accompanies it) could
potentially be the nature of the decisions that accompany and drive the adaptability,
flexibility and creativity within the coaching process, not just the coaching tools. Aligning
the philosophy of coaching, education and assessment within the scheme becomes
imperative; in this context, a coaching philosophy that values and reflects adaptive expertise.
This philosophical position would be aligned with a core of declarative knowledge and
declarative skill. This differs from presenting basic techniques for instruction; the emphasis
becomes to construct the fundamental techniques from these declarative elements.
Throughout the educative process, the explicit interaction between declarative elements is
illustrated and articulated (i.e., the PJDM process). This would be achieved via a reduction in
the instruction of basic content in favour of declarative content, metacognitive skills and
PJDM to utilise and operationalise that knowledge. Thus, the focus of assessment becomes
how and why we teach, rather than solely the what; the situation which exists at present in
competency-based assessments.
What could an Evaluation of Adaptive Coaching Expertise look like?
A variety of different approaches exist, although all (we suggest) would incorporate
some form of questioning on the whys of decisions taken. For example, the evaluation of
adaptable coaching skills could be assessed via a series of observed coaching episodes, with
reasoning articulated through pre and postsession interview. In simple terms, the coach is
asked to overtly discuss the reasoning through which decisions were reached, what
alternatives were considered and under what circumstances such alternatives would have
been used (cf. the big five approach; Collins et al., 2015). To enhance validity, both coaching
session and interview could be recorded, the footage being used to assist in stimulating the
coaches’ recall of the session and the audio to form part of a professional development log.
Encapsulated within this concept would be the need to generate a constantly learning coach,
with an improvement in thinking skill, sophistication and practice being expected at each
assessed session. Evaluation would extend over a series of nonlinked sessions in which
preplanning, adaptation of that plan and its underpinning rationalisation can be articulated.
Indeed, distributing sessions has been shown to facilitate more accurate judgments of
learning; that is, metacognition (cf. Dail & Christina, 2004). To avoid the potential for post
hoc rationalisation of actions, consideration could be given to developing the reflective
process as an articulation of the coach’s internal dialogue (not unlike the commentary
provided in advanced driver training, blue light response training or those training in
emergency care). Noninterventionist approaches to assessment may be challenged by such a
notion and some would argue that this influences the coaches’ performance and that the
assessment is compromised. However, the focus of evaluation is not to measure performance
in that instance but rather, to evaluate the rate and nature of development, the individual’s
trajectory of development. Consequently, evaluation and feedback would initially be largely
formative, a mentoring process or the CA approach highlighted earlier, then developed to a
point at which the trainee is operating with full autonomy. Alongside development in the
metacognitive aspects of performance, developments in practice should be observed and
greater autonomy demonstrated by the coach.
Alignment between the desired learning outcomes (adaptive expertise) and delivery
(declarative knowledge and skills, PJDM (reflection and metacognition)) would need to be
matched with a suitably skilled workforce of trainers, examiners and quality assurance.
Indeed, the nuances of coaching and educative practices may differ such that an expert coach
may not philosophically be an effective or skilled coach educator.
The use of case study approaches and constructing case formulations (Martindale &
Collins, 2012) is another way in which the nested nature of planning may be evaluated. This
would be particularly relevant from Level 3 upwards (based on the current UK Coaching
Certification formulation of levels) as coaches’ decision making becomes increasingly
layered; as per the first example presented at the start of this paper. The point here is that, as
the timespan of the coaching relationship extends, there is an inevitable need for long-
(macro) and short- (micro) term decisions to increase in coherence. As above, metacognition
on these levels is essential if such longer-term relationships (which characterise higher
performance contexts) are to be optimised. These considerations notwithstanding however,
we would suggest that there is strong merit in introducing elements of EFE at the earliest
stages of a coach’s education journey. The sense that ‘it depends’ is the correct answer to
many elements of the coaching process is an important consideration; not one that should
suddenly appear at a specific level.
In this paper we have explained how coaches could develop the metacognitive skills
required in adaptive and flexible coaching situations. We proposed that a mixed assessment
could be employed to evaluate coaching. Developing metacognition alongside declarative
knowledge and skill presents a contrast to more proceduralised notions of coach education
and coaching. In this context, universal employment of competency-based approaches does
not cater for the often complex reality of coaching and, we suggest, is leading to suboptimal
professional standards. As such, we anticipate that adopting a mixed approach will foster and
encourage adaptive expertise alongside competency, but with challenge, since the perception
of performance is, in itself, influenced by a lack of metacognition. However, through our
ongoing systematic, considered and applied-focussed research, we believe that this is a
necessary next step in the development and further professionalisation of sports coaching.
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... Different techniques have been used to assess the self-assessment of different types of learners. For example, the authors in [21] use ACE in ITS to assess the student selfexploration on rum time, Behlau et al. [24] used questionnaires to find the impact of voice problems on individual life, Binali et al. [4] use PSE to assess the student of programming, Boud [23] in their study used State University data to measure self-assessment ads Questionnaire Tutors and to assess the self-assessment of learners, also the Self-Assessment Manikin [3,25] used ELM-PE to measure the self-assessment of a student in the ITS system [8], professional judgment and expertise oriented framework have been developed by the authors in [26] by postulating on the aspirant/developing coach's capacity for and development of metacognition within the reflective process, and a lot more. ...
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Measuring and evaluating a learner's learning ability is always the focus of every person whose aim is to develop strategies and plans for their learners to improve the learning process. For example, classroom assessments, self-assessment using computer systems such as Intelligent Tutoring Systems (ITS), and other approaches are available. Assessment of metacognition is one of these techniques. Having the ability to evaluate and monitor one's learning is known as metacognition. An individual can then propose adjustments to their learning process based on this assessment. By monitoring, improving, and planning their activities, learners who can manage their cognitive skills are better able to manage their knowledge about a particular subject. It is common knowledge that students' meta-cognitive and self-assessment skills and abilities have been extensively studied, but no research has been carried out on the mistakes that novice developers make because they do not use their self-assessment abilities enough. is study aims to assess the metacognitive skills and abilities of novice software developers working in the industry and to describe the consequences of awareness of metacognition on their performance. In the proposed study, we experimented with novice software developers and collected data using Devskiller and a self-assessment log to analyze their use of self-regulation skills. e proposed study showed that when developers are asked to reflect upon their work, they become more informed about their habitual mistakes, and using a self-assessment log helps them highlight their repetitive mistakes and experiences which allows them to improve their performance on future tasks.
... A potential solution is to consider a cognitive apprenticeship initially proposed by Collins et al. (1991), and later, in a coaching context by Collins et al. (2016). These authors suggest that such a cognitive apprenticeship would lead to better professional judgement and decision making by interrogating experience and using RP to add structured complexity to individual coach's professional schematic. ...
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Background We draw on the work of established scholars in the field of reflective practice who highlight its importance as a key cognitive skill for professionals to hold. While the substantive effect of engaging in reflective practice is emphasised in the literature, apparently coaches only spend a limited time learning about and engaging with it.Objectives This study was conducted in two parts: Part 1 examined coaches’ knowledge of reflective practice and ascertained their perceived lack of value and use of reflective practice within their coaching. In response to the unexpected findings in Part 1, in Part 2, we instituted an educational intervention to further these participant coaches’ knowledge of Reflective Practice (RP) and facilitate its integration into their coaching practice.DesignThe present study utilised a mixed method design with semi-structured interviews being conducted in Part 1. A coach development reflective programme inspired by Stimulated Recall approach was implemented in Part 2.ParticipantsTwelve high level coaches were interviewed about their reflective practices in Part 1. In Part 2, the same coaches agreed to participate in the educational intervention for the duration of the project.ResultsFindings from Part 1 revealed an interesting paradox: coaches demonstrated a lack of appreciation for reflective practice yet recounted the positive influence that specific events and individuals had on their practice. In Part 2, to fully develop RP with the present cohort, an educational intervention was conducted. While watching videos of their own practice, coaches initially required lots of prompts from the lead interviewer to facilitate a deep and meaningful discussion of their practice. During the latter stages of the intervention, however, participants were less dependent on questions and prompts.Conclusion In part 1, the coaches in this study did employ reflection, although they did not label it as such. The qualitative evidence we have gathered enables us to suggest that it is the combination of how to reflect, and against what criteria that makes RP a powerful tool to develop expertise which it has the potential to be. Importantly, however, additional coach education input is necessary for these benefits to be fully realised.
... Without reflecting, I'd probably just be making decisions with no real reasoning but reflection kind of makes everything make sense". This suggests that reflection puts coaches in a better position to make decisions which can be explained in work by Collins, Carson, and Collins (2016) who suggest that working without reflection can lead to making suboptimal decisions because decision-making processes are potentially weakened by a lack of depth in experience and reflection (Klein, 2014). Accordingly, it would appear necessary to develop metacognitive skills to guide reflective practice. ...
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In the field of sports coaching education and learning, reflective practice is considered central to transforming experience and knowledge into expertise, and many governing bodies execute this through professional development and specific guidelines (Vallance, 2019). However, whilst the general consensus within academia and the vocational sector of coaching continue to espouse this approach, there is a lack of evidence to suggest how this is useful for beginner-coaches (defined as emerging-new, with less than three years of experience) as studies generally focus on expert coaches and oftentimes sit within the context of performance and/or elite sport. This study, therefore, aimed to explore the benefits and limitations of reflective practice, and to identify aspects of ideal learning for in-situ, practice-based context as perceived by beginner-coaches who operate more within recreational (although still competitive) sport fields. Situated within the UK context, the methodology comprised of semi-structured interviews conducted with six beginner-coaches. The findings demonstrated that whilst there were tangible benefits to the use of reflective practice (such as perceived additional competency and critical thinking), there were also limitations centred on time constraints, and an over-focus on negative emotions with a subsequent adverse impact on self-confidence and anxiety. The implications, including recommendations and thoughts for the future, are outlined within the paper.
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The ability of coaches to make effective decisions that can impact positively on a team’s performance during competition is a fundamental skill in coaching, especially in fast, dynamic team sports such as soccer. Yet, there has been little research attention given to exploring the thought processes underpinning coaches’ decision-making during soccer match-play. We used a think aloud protocol analysis to explore the cognitions of skilled and less-skilled soccer coaches who were required to watch and coach a team during representative video clips of a soccer match first half. At the end of the first half of the match, coaches were also asked to verbalise their thoughts of what they would do or say to the team at half-time. We further assessed the quality of decisions made at half-time. During first-half match-play, skilled coaches verbalised more thoughts related to performance and tactical evaluations, and the planning of actions than less-skilled coaches, who mostly monitored the ongoing game actions or events. Moreover, during half-time skilled coaches made more appropriate decisions which were underpinned by more relevant planning strategies aimed at improving team performance for the second half than less-skilled participants. Findings enhance our understanding of cognitive expertise in coaches’ decision-making performance during competition.
The biblical mandate for Christians to renew their minds in Romans 12:1–2 impacts not only how Christians think, but how Christian leaders interact with their organizations. This chapter uses socio-rhetorical criticism to examine the pericope. The data from the textual analysis combine with psychological literature on metacognition to show how thinking with a renewed mind is rooted in a Christian’s primary identity, tied to their actions, and nested with their individual growth. Subsequent implications for leading with a renewed mind include humility, growth, alignment, and development.
Adventure sports offer an exciting area of investigation regarding pedagogical best practices. Previous research points to the evolution of adventure sports coaching with the development and implementation of the PPTT (physical, psychological, technical, and tactical) framework. However, there is a missing area of consideration within the PPTT framework: the individual participating in the adventure sport. The growth and diversification of adventure sports necessitate consideration of language and reflection between the coach and athlete, and the current paper proposes the integration of a multicultural education lens to support this process. Thus, the main purpose of the current study was to investigate the utility of the PPTT as a framework to support reflective processes and as a common language to facilitate the coach–athlete relationship.
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Long-term training is a common approach within the applied setting for components of physiology and strength and conditioning, for example. However, less is known about the reality of training across similar timescales from a technical perspective. Taking the highly-technical sport of golf, current research rarely considers coaching technique beyond a single-session, nor with the aim to understand the reality for, or challenges faced by, coaches working at the elite-level. Accordingly, this qualitative study explored the goals, structure and methods of coaches’ long-term technical work with players at macro, meso and micro levels. Findings revealed, (a) coaches attempted to undertake technical refinement with players but without a clear systematic process, (b) there is little coherence and consistency across the levels of work, (c) the process and timescales of technical work is considered unpredictable and uncertain and, (d) long-term planning is seen as subservient to meeting players’ immediate performance needs. These results highlight the complexity of long-term technical work at the elite level and the need for coaches to develop both a sound and clear rationale through a more comprehensive case conceptualisation process, as well as a greater alignment to the scientific literature, in order to advance future practice.
Recent years have seen huge growth in coaching and an associated focus on how it can be optimized through a well informed and appropriately professional coaching workforce. An ongoing focus of coaching researchers has been the importance of sufficiently reflective coach learning and development, with an emphasis on the development of sufficiently critical and analytical thinking. This paper shines a light on an area that we believe has a fundamental influence on the aforementioned thinking processes but has been underconsidered in the coaching literature to date: namely, bioenergetics and the impact of energy metabolism. We provide an outline of the bioenergetic view, with a focus on energy metabolism and mitochondrial function and the influence they may have on coach learning and development. We then offer ideas on how coaches might address these impacts through promoting a better appreciation of the impact of stress and diet on energy metabolism. We conclude with a call for open dialogue and further research on this important area.
Higher-order cognitive functions refer to a collection of executive processes, which support the production of controlled, coordinated, and adaptive cognitive operations. Within the field of sports coaching, higher-order cognitive functions, such as cognitive control, are perceived to be beneficial for expert performance. Nevertheless, there is currently no empirical evidence base linking these cognitive capacities with sports coaching expertise. It, therefore, seems both timely and appropriate to explore the higher-order capacities of sports coaches and better understand existing relationships. In this insight paper, we make a case for adopting domain-general experimental approaches to progress knowledge and understanding of the relationships between fundamental higher-order cognitive capacities and sports coaching expertise. In making our case, we provide conceptual discussions on the possible associations between higher-order cognitive functions and sports coaches’ cognitive operations. We additionally outline the potential advantages of informing an empirical evidence base about higher-order cognitive capacities for sports coaching research and practice.
The current study aimed to explore the perceptions of football academy coaches on their use of a novel reflective tool (Think Aloud [TA]) and to understand if this can support the development of knowledge within coaches. Eight male coaches (M age = 36) employed full time at a Category 1 football academy within the United Kingdom took part. All coaches attended a 2-hr workshop on the use of TA as a reflective tool, with the opportunity to practice TA while coaching. Participants were interviewed on their perceptions of TA as a reflective tool using a semi-structured approach. Data were analyzed abductively, which allowed the generation of initial codes and the involvement of the triad of knowledge (professional, interpersonal, and intrapersonal knowledge), which has been adopted within coaching and identified as an approach to developing coaching expertise, 1 within the analysis process. Findings suggest that all three types of knowledge can be developed through the use of TA, with subthemes identified within each type of knowledge: professional knowledge (player and coach development and session design), interpersonal knowledge (communication and relationships), and intrapersonal knowledge (biases, self-awareness, and reflection). This research offers a novel perspective on coach development through the implementation of TA, with potential to support the development of coaching knowledge and expertise.
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Athletes must be able to make split-second decisions under the pressures of competition, but often this vital learning is left to chance. With Perception, Cognition, and Decision Training: The Quiet Eye in Action, readers gain access to the research foundations behind an innovative decision-training system that has been used successfully for years in training athletes. Certain to become the definitive guide to decision making in sport, this text presents three innovations solidly based in research. The first is the vision- in-action method of recording what athletes actually see when they perform. The second is the quiet eye phenomenon that has attracted considerable media attention. The third innovation is decision training to identify not only how athletes make performance decisions but also how to facilitate visual perception and action to enhance performance. Author Joan Vickers—who discovered the quiet eye and developed the vision-in-action method—takes the next step by integrating all three innovations into a system for helping athletes improve. Together, these advances provide scientific evidence of the effectiveness of perception– action coupling in athletes’ training.
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Comprehensive understanding and application of decision making is important for the professional practice and status of sports coaches. Accordingly, building on a strong work base exploring the use of professional judgment and decision making (PJDM) in sport, we report a preliminary investigation into uses of intuition by high-level coaches. Two contrasting groups of high-level coaches from adventure sports (n = 10) and rugby union (n = 8), were interviewed on their experiences of using intuitive and deliberative decision making styles, the source of these skills, and the interaction between the two. Participants reported similarly high levels of usage to other professions. Interaction between the two styles was apparent to varying degrees, while the role of experience was seen as an important precursor to greater intuitive practice and employment. Initially intuitive then deliberate decision making was a particular feature, offering participants an immediate check on the accuracy and validity of the decision. Integration of these data with the extant literature and implications for practice are discussed.
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We present a synthetic theory of skilled action which proposes that cognitive processes make an important contribution to almost all skilled action, contrary to influential views that many skills are performed largely automatically. Cognitive control is focused on strategic aspects of performance, and plays a greater role as difficulty increases. We offer an analysis of various forms of skill experience and show that the theory provides a better explanation for the full set of these experiences than automatic theories. We further show that the theory can explain experimental evidence for skill automaticity, including evidence that secondary tasks do not interfere with expert performance, and evidence that experts have reduced memory for performance of sensorimotor skills.
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In a recent paper in ISCJ, Ojala and Thorpe offered a culturally based observation that questions the role and application of coaching in action sports. Their critique is focused on the action sport of snowboarding which, despite its' comparatively recent inclusion in the Olympics, retains a different, almost collaborative rather than competitive culture more akin to other action sports such as skateboarding and surfing. Ojala and Thorpe then present Problem Based Learning (PBL) as the solution to many of these perceived ills, describing the positive characteristics of the approach and promoting its cultural fit with action sport environments and performers. In this paper we offer a different perspective, which questions the veracity of the data presented and the unquestioningly positive view of PBL as the answer. Our alternative, data-driven perspective suggests that action sport athletes are increasingly positive, or even desirous of good coaching, of which PBL is a possible approach; suitable for some athletes some of the time.
This investigation examined the planning and decision-making processes in adventure sports coaching. We utilised a thematic analysis approach to investigate the planning decision-making practices of a sample of high-level adventure sports coaches over a series of sessions. The investigation discovered that, in planning coaching activity, high-level adventure sports coaches draw on their epistemological values and domain-specific expertise, employ a synergy of classic and naturalistic decision-making processes, and continually audit the evolving coaching process. Based on these findings, implications for professional training, accreditation and development of adventure sports coaches are presented.
Reflective practice is key to the meaningfulness, effectiveness and personal and professional satisfaction of the therapeutic endeavour. Expressive and explorative writing offers a swift, dynamic, and challenging route to reflective practice. This paper draws upon my experience running groups for therapists, counsellors, clinical psychologists and other clinicians. The processes of writing, and making reflective use of that writing, are examined.
This case study of an elite judo player recovering from injury provides an exemplification of a practitioner's Professional Judgment and Decision Making (PJDM) using a 'reflection-in-action research' methodology. The process of "reflectionin-action" Schön (1991) and in particular the concept of 'framing' offer insight into how professionals think in action. These concepts assisted the practitioner in organizing, clarifying and conceptualizing the client's issues and forming intentions for impact. This case study exemplifies the influence of practitioner PJDM on implementation at multiple levels of practice including planning the overall program of support, designing specific interventions to aid client recovery and moment-to-moment in-situ decision making session-by session. It is suggested that consideration of practitioner PJDM should be a strong feature of case study reporting and that this approach carries the potential to extend our use of case studies within applied sport psychology practice.
This qualitative study presents the view that coaching practice places demands on the coach's adaptability and flexibility. These requirements for being adaptive and flexible are met through a careful process of professional judgement and decision-making based on context-appropriate bodies of knowledge. Adventure sports coaches were selected for study on the basis that adventure sports create a hyper-dynamic environment in which these features can be examined. Thematic analysis revealed that coaches were generally well informed and practised with respect to the technical aspects of their sporting disciplines. Less positively, however, they often relied on ad hoc contextualisation of generalised theories of coaching practice to respond to the hyper-dynamic environments encountered in adventure sports. We propose that coaching practice reflects the demands of the environment, individual learning needs of the students and the task at hand. Together, these factors outwardly resemble a constraints-led approach but, we suggest, actually reflect manipulation of these parameters from a cognitive rather than an ecological perspective. This process is facilitated by a refined judgement and decision-making process, sophisticated epistemology and an explicit interaction of coaching components.