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Understanding Self

Understand yourself to maximise your capabilities

In this theme of the Coach Learning Framework, you will find resources on:

  • Self-care and self-regulation. Consider how understanding your internal states and impulses can help you release your true potential.
  • Developing your coaching philosophy. Explore the foundations that your coaching is based upon and that guide decision-making. 
  • Developing a reflective practice. Consider how the 'magic ingredient' of reflection can help you develop your coachng craft. 
  • The coach as a learner. Become a 'curious coach' with effective decision-making and learning habits.
  • Leadership. Learn more about leading yourself, athletes and teams.
  • Understanding and managing your stressors. Find out how to detect the things that generate unpleasant emotions.

Why is Understanding Yourself Important in Coaching?

Learning more about yourself is part of growing as a person. When you know yourself, inclusing your wants, needs, desires, habits, emotions and behaviours, you can become a better person and coach. The first step is self-awareness, to really understand what motivates you, drives you forward and holds you true to your ‘North Star.’

This is built upon your journey as a person and the situations you have experienced, all of which influences you as a coach and contributes to the development of your coaching philosophy.

This provides a foundation on which you can develop and grow as a person, identifying areas of development and enabling you to see our true self. This takes practice, patience and self-care as you explore how you are now and how you want to develop.

Through reflection and practice, you can grow to understand how you act and react in situations and explore ways to manage and regulate our behaviours. Reflecting on your actions and coaching practice enables you to develop a deeper understanding, identifying areas for learning and development and sources of support and gaining increased clarity of what you want to achieve.

With better understanding, you can enhance your creative thinking, identify and solve problems and make better decisions and choices as you develop and grow. This will give you a solid foundation from which you can lead and guide others and the teams/groups that you support.

Through the pillars below, find resources to help you on your journey to understanding the self.

Self-Care and Self-Regulation

When you deliver as a coach and everything flows, you feel great; your participants are engaged and developing, and your delivery is awesome. Are you aware of what made it a great session or day? Curiosity is the beginning; being here is a great start.

What lies above the surface of who we think we are is only the tip of the ‘iceberg’. Take the opportunity to explore underneath and release your true potential. It’s actually easier than you think, as creating habits and structure to your coaching enables you to make consistent change. 

It’s too easy to put ourselves behind other’s needs, but central to being the best version of you is self-care. It’s important for us to put ourselves first and consider our well-being, because you can’t help others unless you are helping and investing in yourself.  

Understand how to close the gap through self-awareness, self-regulation, considering your actions and behaviours when under pressure. Learn to recognise your moods, motivations, and the drivers that maximise your potential. Take responsibility for your own actions and hold yourself to account.

Coaching Philosophy

Develop the foundations of your coaching; philosophy means ‘love of wisdom’. Seek to understand yourself and how your experiences have shaped you and your philosophy.

Philosophy can’t be ‘borrowed’; it’s personal to you and comes from within. Consider different strategies as you seek, question, reflect upon your journey and challenge your thinking as you explore the very foundations that your coaching is based upon.

Thinking about your beliefs, experiences and approaches is the only real way to do this; focusing on the answers generates tangible and practical ways to develop your practice.

Reflective Practice

If you don’t make the time to understand where you have been, it's hard to see where you're heading.

Explore the huge benefits that regular reflection on your practice can bring in developing your coaching, understanding your participants and understanding yourself. Though serious thought and consideration, you can begin to maximise your planning, enhance your sessions and support your participants.

Reflective practice allows you to delve deeper than a ‘firefighting’ process as you begin to explore behaviours, actions and outcomes that can help you to improve your practice, develop creative thinking skills and encourage active participation in your coaching process.

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    • Recognising Your Hero’s Journey: Experience, Learn, Grow

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Free Resource Picks




Checklist for Emotional Regulation

Even with a strong understanding of your emotions, it’s important to analyse them regularly. Use this checklist to reflect on situations and your emotional response




Your Coaching Philosophy: Ideas to Aid its Development

Tips and suggested questions that can be used during the process of developing your coaching philosophy. Your coaching philosophy (a series of guiding principles) informs your coaching practice and guides decision-making

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Emotional Intelligence: Being the Best Version of You

The ability to process emotions (emotional intelligence) is crucial in understanding how and why they arise – and managing them when they do. Key to the process is becoming self-aware


Expert Opinion 


Eight Steps to Great Coaching Reflection

Taking time out to reflect and focus on ourselves is crucial, but it can be difficult to find time in the middle of a busy schedule. Enjoy a more effective reflection process with these eight steps




The Importance of Developing a Coaching Philosophy

Developing a coaching philosophy is a journey of self-discovery and is forever evolving. This is the first article in a three-part series that offers insight and advice on how to approach the complex and individualised process of establishing your own personal philosophy

Coach Learning Framework

The Coach Learning Framework has been created to help you design memorable and engaging great coaching experiences that meet the needs of all your participants, regardless of your sport or physical activity.

Understanding Self is one of nine themes that comprise this insight-based framework.

Continue your journey through the framework to learn more about the other eight themes and the key attributes of high-quality coaching environments, and how you can demonstrate the skills, qualities and behaviours that will empower the people you coach to achieve their personal goals.