Reflection and reflective practice discourses in coaching: a critical analysis
(2016) Sport, Education and Society, pp. 1-13. Article in Press.
Reflection and reflective practice is seen as an established part of coaching and coach education practice. It has become a ‘taken-for-granted’ part of coaching that is accepted enthusiastically and unquestioningly, and is assumed to be ‘good’ for coaching and coaches. Drawing on sociological concepts, a primarily Foucauldian lens, the purpose of this paper is to provide a critical analysis of reflection and to unpack some of the assumptions underlying it and problematize the seemingly unproblematic. This paper challenges the current dominant cognitive assumptions about reflection (and coaching) as an individual, asocial, ahistorical process and explores through concepts such as power/knowledge, discourse and the self, the extent that reflection is discursive and constructs coaches’ subjectivities. The analysis considers unintended consequences of reflection as a form of surveillance that normalizes coaches’ practices through the act of confession. The paper thus challenges the prevailing descriptions that stress the epistemological, and claim ‘neutral’, discursive-blind and non-political perspectives. © 2016 Taylor & Francis
coach education; coaching; Foucault; Reflection; reflective practice