REFLECTION IN THE STRUCTURE OF COACHES’ SPORTS ACTIVITY: FROM REFLECTIVE POSITION TO REFLECTIVE CULTURE

Фотографии: 

A.V. Voschinin
Moscow State Academy of Physical Culture, Moscow

Key words: reflection, reflective position, reflective culture, coach, personality, professional awareness.

The work presents the research data of coaches’ reflective position. The factors determining specifics of the reflexive position were allocated based on the characteristics of reflection and self-attitude. Clustering resulted in the allocation of the typology of reflective positions and personality traits of coaches referred to various types of reflection.

The modern approach in the sphere of physical culture and sport sets before psychologists a number of theoretical and practical tasks, with one of which associated with establishment of conditions for coach’s professional advancement. In the structure of coach’s activity reflection is of special importance since it is a “key” mechanism determining effectiveness of vocational development and efficiency of cooperation in the coach-athlete system. 

Reflection performs the constituting function related to psyche and the twofold function of differentiation of integration with qualitative reorganization of mental processes and personality itself as its products [6]. The higher level of development of skills for reflective analysis means more expressed trends to self-actualization [13]. The common level of effectiveness of individual reflective activity is founded on reflective skill referred by A.V. Karpov to general skills [9].

Development of reflective ability is determined by integrity of the process of reflection, realized in the study of problem-conflict subject matters at inner state awareness, specifying the capacity of formation of symbol-based reflection methods and personality axiological concepts [2].

In the modern sense of the term reflection is considered as a mechanism of reflective transcendence of activity for a subject with further establishment of relations between it structural units [17], as a way of realization of the integral self-awareness by rerumination and reconstruction by the subject of personal mental subject matter, activity and communication [14], as a mechanism of correlation of the processes of centration and solution of the “sense task and decentration, promoting awareness of personal position, looking at oneself as an actor from the outside [10].

Development of reflective position is one of the key determinants of effective work of reflection mechanisms. Reflective position is a construct, combining self-awareness, personal reasons of activity, specifics of subject’s meta-cognitive functioning, symbol-based methods, accumulated within subject’s conscious reflective experience and personal axiological concepts. On the one hand, reflective position is not “premiseless, it is always combined with the clear and latent value or norm, laying the basis of subject’s estimation of personal activity” [1]. On the other hand, reflective position “determines generation of specific knowledge, means and methods of reflection” [16]. In the graphic form it can be presented as follows (Fig.).

Fig. Theoretical and practical thinking, self-consciousness, value-conceptual regulation, reflective experience, reflective position, system of reflective cultural meanings, symbolic means, conflict content, current situation

Thus, reflective position forms and is determined by the subject’s reflective experience acquired within cognitive reflecting. The structure and subject matter of reflective position is determined as a multi-level system of intercontrolling personal subsystems, terms of its establishment and development within studies of problem and conflict-based subject matters and transformation of external and internal operation environment (inclusive of personal grounds).

For instance, as marked in the experience of organization of play coaching for executives by V.V. Davydov, S.D. Neverkovich and N.V. Samoukina, the transition to reflective position makes it possible to see personal work methods as a detached subject, cognitive activity is not correlated with the purpose and result any more. It is the release from its subject orientation that specifies the direction of the idea focused on independent development [4]. This is when the capacity of working and establishing of the means and methods of reflection arises. As noted in the works devoted to the studies of the regulatory function of reflection, reflection is a principal mechanism of goal-setting [15], concept generation [8], decision making [9], planning [7] and, ultimately, determines the state of personal mental health [5].

The work of the “instruments”, formation of norms of reflection and value attitude to the reflecting process itself makes it possible to objectify the subject matter of reflective position and provides potential transformation of reflective actions into specific activity, converting professional functioning into reflective-cultural form of relationships between the ideal self-concept and methods, or goals, or work results. Reflective activity itself gets more mediate, acquires the subject in the form of objectivistic views subject matters, resulting on the top-level of reflection in the formed reflective self-respect, as a personal resource, defining success in creative, efficient problem solving, potential in coping with conflicts, crisis situations and the feeling of “inability” of future stereotyped functioning.     

The quoted system of value relationships defines the structural components of reflective culture of a sports teacher: axiological, cognitive, procedural-technological, managerial-regulative [11], provides for activation of the creative component of reflection through the intention to refine personal work, design, organization, planning and objectivization [12], preconditions the transition to the mental activity type, formulation and designation of the conceptual system of reflective-cultural environment for professional interaction [3].

Reflective position, as a personal construct and resource, defines the orientation of mind activity, specifies reflective self-awareness. This concept is topped over the system of established “self – non-self”, “self – the other”, “real self – idealized self” relationships and finally over the system of personal relation or personal positions realized in activity.

Therefore the set question on the structure, subject matter and styles of reflective position is the purpose of the study.

The set purpose was realized by solving the tasks below:

- to allocate factors defining the features of coaches’ reflective position;

- to determine the structure and relate structural components of reflective position;

- to set and describe the types of reflective positions.

Materials and methods. 151 coaches (48 future coaches in various sports, students of the coaching faculty in MSAPC, 42 coaches with 1-4-year experience and 61 coaches with over 5 year-experience) took part in our research.

The research methods used included:  Leontiev’s differential reflection probe, reflectivity diagnostic methods by A.V. Karpov, M. Grant’s Self-reflection and Insight Scale, Meta-Cognitive Awareness  Inventory, S.R. Pantileev’s self-awareness research method, Cattell's 16 Personality Factors Test.

Results and discussion. The comparison of the groups of coaches with various experience by reflection parameters proved the data received in the examination of 75 persons [2]. Thus, students of the coaching faculty are disposed to quasi-reflection (52,66 ± 7,29), newbie coaches are inclined to perspective reflection (39,77 ± 5,33) and self-reflection (45,35 ± 5,82), experienced coaches are disposed to situational reflection (18,13 ± 4,77) and communication reflection (37,95 ± 5,40). As follows from the adduced measures, the established discrepancy between the groups is statistically significant. Newbie (4,56 ± 1,76) and experienced coaches’ (4,91 ± 1,34) reflectivity measures are on the lower limit of the mean level of intensity of reflective activity and are statistically the same, the group of students is characterized by the low level of development of reflective activity (3,83 ± 1,69) and is significantly different from the measures in the groups of newbie and experienced coaches. System and retrospective reflections are the common problem areas for all the groups.

Processing of parameters of reflection, self-awareness and coaching experience using the method of principal component analysis (with varimax rotation) revealed 4 clusters, referred to 76 % of data dispersion (Table 1).

Table 1. Factors determining the features of reflective position

 

Factor 1 “Significance mechanism initiations”

Factor 2

“Development of reflective ability”

Factor 3 “Awareness and constructiveness of reflective experience”

Factor 4 “Neurotic orientation of reflection”

 

System reflection

(0,861946)

Common reflectivity level (0,765789)

Experience

(0,645133)

Communication reflection (0,816224)

 

Situational reflection

(0,605953)

Retrospective reflection (0,650244)

Self-absorption

(-0,819774)

Self-value

(-0,926695)

 

Self-reflection (0,733956)

Perspective reflection (0,854130)

Quasi-reflection

(-0,707476)

Self-accusation (0,645564)

 

Meta-cognitive awareness  (0,795658)

Self-control                 (-0,812534)

Social reflection

(0,646343)

 

 

Self-acceptance        

(-0,714011)

 

Openness (0,647632)

 

 

 

 

Self-attachment (0,782750)

 

 

 

 

Proneness to inner conflict

(-0,881443)

 

 

 

 

Self-accusation (-0,604896)

 

Total variance

4,284688

5,045608

5,618340

4,008161

Fraction of total variance

0,171388

0,201824

0,224734

0,160326

 

The first factor included system reflection, situational reflection, self-reflection, meta-cognitive awareness measures and negatively correlated with it index of the self-awareness – self-acceptance emotional component.        

The factor of “Significance mechanism initiation” defines success of critical insight in the current situation of activity in view of the real conditions with meta-cognitive processes deeply involved in it and correlated with dissatisfaction with professional properties and personal grounds of realized work for self-acceptance in view of professional self-awareness.

The second factor was made of measures of common intensity of reflective skill, retrospective reflection, perspective reflection and negatively correlated with it index of the self-awareness–self-control cognitive component.

The factor of “Reflective ability development” determines development of the critical insight through qualification and phenomenologization of the essence of self-consciousness in the current situation of activity within the retrospective analysis and problem-focused approach followed by perspective self-determination in the problem area. The correlated negatively self-control can be interpreted as a required self-denial of the stereotyped personality integration and organization, providing for reconsidering of the set stereotyped personal attitude to activity and communication.

The third factor consisted of the measures of coaching experience, social reflection, openness, self-attachment and negatively correlated with it self-absorption, quasi-reflection, proneness to inner conflict, self-accusation.

The factor of “Reflection experience awareness and constructiveness” defines high involvement of the reflective-personal component in case of conceptual thinking in problem-conflict situations due to sufficiently frank insight, stable social orientation and measure of adequate self-attachment. All in all, the quoted factor determines formation of reflective experience along with growing professional experience and low level of “negative” reflection (self-absorption, quasi-reflection) and self-deprecation (proneness to inner conflict, self-accusation).

The fourth factor consisted of communication reflection, self-accusation and self-value negatively correlated with them.

The factor of “Neurotic orientation of reflection” defines weakness of intrinsic criteria while considering problem subject matters and ruminating on the personal grounds of actions made, unformed positive emotive criteria and tendency to self-accusation of all negative things happening. Herewith, excessive tendency to thinking for others, uncritical acceptance of the grounds of other position for self-awareness result in the trend to self-absorption, quasi-reflection that may testify to the unformed reflective position and tendency to neurotization when facing conflict situations in professional activity.

The correlations of the structural components of reflective position were revealed by means of analyzing matrices of intercorrelations of parameters of self-awareness, personality traits and reflection measures, in the groups of students, newbie and experienced coaches. The correlation of coherence, divergence and general system measures revealed a number of features of integration-differentiation of personal determinants in the structure of reflective position of coaches (Table 2). 

Table 2. Structure measures of coaches’ reflective position

 

Group 1 (students of coaching faculty)

Group 2 (coaches with 1-4-year experience)

Group 3 (coaches with over 5-year experience)

 

SCI

SDI

SOI

SCI

SDI

SOI

SCI

SDI

SOI

Personal factors (Cattell's 16 PF Test)

80

128

207

121

97

218

68

79

147

Self-awareness (S.R. Pantileev’s self-awareness research method)

41

37

78

55

35

90

63

33

96

 

Involvement in the real work environment defines the highest integrity in the structure of reflective position of personality traits in the group of newbie coaches (SCI = 121), determining the highest system organization indices (SOI = 218) within the studied groups. Here the most essential are such factors as: self-power (factor С, system share – 11), joy of life (factor F, system share – 10), super-ego power (factor G, system share – 14), courage (factor H, system share – 12), flexibility, radicalism (factor Q1, system share – 11) and self-control (factor Q3, structural share – 10). In the group of students of coaching faculties personal factors play a differentiating (unbalancing) role in the system of reflective position (SDI = 128). Thus, the largest share belongs to the following factors: self-power (factor С, system share – 12), courage (factor H, system share – 10), sensitivity (factor I, system share – 13), lack of confidence, anxiety (factor O, system share – 10), self-sufficiency (factor Q2, system share – 11), self-control (factor Q3, system share – 10), tension, frustration (factor Q4, system share – 12). Here the system organization indices (SOI) are practically the same in these groups. In the group of experienced coaches the values of system coherence (SCI = 68), divergence (SDI = 79) and organization indices (SOI = 147) decrease, testifying to the declining role of personal factors in the system of reflective position.

As follows from the compared measures resulting from self-awareness parameters, the level of integration and system organization go up and the differentiative role of self-awareness components decreases in the structure of reflective position with the growing practical professional experience. Particularly, in coherence measures the share increases in such self-awareness parameters as: self-confidence (system share: students – 5, newbie coaches – 11, experienced coaches – 13), self-value (system share: students – 2, newbie coaches – 7, experienced coaches – 13), self-attachment (system share: students – 3, newbie coaches – 5, experienced coaches – 9). The decrease of the share of the self-deprecation component: proneness to inner conflict (system share: students – 10, newbie coaches – 7, experienced coaches – 4) and self-accusation (system share: students – 10, newbie coaches – 5, experienced coaches – 5).

Coaches were clustered by the total number of respondents (N = 151) to allocate types and features of reflective positions in view of reflection measures, due to the same low measures of development of reflective skill specific for all groups, similar measures of retrospective and system reflections and respondents with high and low properties of reflection revealed in all groups. The correlation analysis failed to reveal any positive relationship of retrospective and system reflections with practical coaching experience included in the factor of “Constructiveness of reflective experience”, clarifying only 0,224734 of total variance.

The cluster analysis resulted in the allocation of 4 groups (Table 3). The typology of coaches’ reflective positions was determined and characterized in compliance with intensity of reflection measures, personality traits and sell-awareness parameters.

Table 3. Parameters of reflection, self-awareness and personality traits determining the features of reflective positions

 

Group 1

(n = 31)

Group 2

(n = 40)

Group 3

(n = 56)

Group 4

(n = 24)

Self-absorption

 

**

-

**

System reflection

*

**

-

 

Quasi-reflection

 

**

-

**

Reflective activity

*

**

-

 

Reflection constructiveness coefficient

**

*

 

-

Common reflectivity level

**

*

-

-

Communication reflection

**

 

 

 

Retrospective reflection

*

**

-

-

Situational reflection

**

-

 

 

Perspective reflection

**

*

 

-

Self-reflection

*

**

 

-

Social reflection

**

 

 

-

Self-confidence

*

 

**

-

Self-attachment

*

 

**

-

Proneness to inner conflict

 

**

-

**

Self-accusation

 

**

-

**

Self-power (factor C)

*

 

**

 

Dominance (factor Е)

*

-

**

 

Super-ego power (factor G)

**

 

*

-

Courage (factor H)

**

 

*

-

Suspiciousness (factor L)

*

 

**

 

Self-efficacy (factor M)

 

**

*

-

Anxiety (factor O)

-

-

-

**

Flexibility, radicalism (factor Q1)

*

 

**

 

Self-sufficiency (factor Q2)

 

**

 

**

Self-control (factor Q3)

**

-

*

 

Frustrativeness (factor Q4)

-

 

 

**

*   pronounced

** strongly pronounced

-   lowest measures

 

“Constructive” reflective position. This group differs by the most strongly pronounced measures of the general level of reflectivity, constructive coefficient of reflection, communication, situational, perspective reflections, self-reflection, super-ego power, courage and self-control. It is characterized by the relatively high measures of system, retrospective, self-reflection, self-confidence, self-attachment, self-power, dominance, suspiciousness, flexibility and radicalism, low measures of proneness to inner conflict, self-accusation, lack of confidence, anxiety and frustrativeness. “Constructive” reflective position provides for more effective reflection both in the situation of activity and while analyzing actions made with further problem study of acute subject matters, self-determination and reframing followed by the realization by the integral self of the worked principles, standards and grounds in view of environment and communicative in symbols. It serves a precondition for objectivation of reflective experience and fixing of effective styles of reflection in patterns. It defines coach’s creative potential in problem-solving, personal-conceptual basis of activity, personal self-actualization and professional development.

“Oversituational” reflective position. This group is notable for the most strongly pronounced measures of self-absorption, system reflection, quasi-reflection, reflective activity, retrospective and self-reflection, proneness to inner conflict, self-accusation, pragmatism and self-efficacy. It is characterized by high constructive coefficients of reflection, general reflectivity and perspective reflection, low situational reflection, anxiety, dominance and self-control. “Oversituational” reflective position promotes the rising level of retrospective analysis of conflict situations, where awareness of the methods and personal grounds in specific environment is hampered by a number of personality traits. The reason of it may be in overfocusing on operation and technical aspects of work, concern about the progress and result combined with ruminations on the consequences, making it difficult to be distracted from specific aspects and preventing from planning and objectivation to creative reflection.

“Areflective” position. This group is distinguished by low self-absorption, system reflection, quasi-reflection, reflective activity, general reflectivity, retrospective reflection, as well as low anxiety level, proneness to inner conflict and self-accusation. It is characterized by the most strongly pronounced measures of self-confidence, self-attachment, self-power, dominance, suspiciousness, flexibility and radicalism, sufficiently high measures of super-ego power, courage, pragmatism and self-control. The quoted reflective position specifies insufficient involvement of personal integral self in the activity focused on awareness of the methods and personal grounds of professional self-realization, lack of motivation and value-conceptual regulation of reflection as a whole. In this case professional activity is arranged by the principle of reproduction and transpolation of refined models and methods based on the personal power, authority and charisma that may presuppose establishment of a firm and rigid system of relationship and interactions of coach and athlete.

“Personal-pejorative” reflective position. This group is distinguished by the lowest measures of constructive coefficients of reflection, general reflectivity, retrospective, perspective, self- and social reflection, low self-confidence, self-attachment, super-ego power, courage and pragmatism, along with high level of self-absorption, quasi-reflection, proneness to inner conflict, self-accusation, anxiety, self-efficacy and frustrativeness. This reflective position is subject to the strong effect of the factor of “Neurotic orientation of reflection”. The combination of low self-attachment and strong proneness to inner conflict and self-accusation represent a so called “neurotic ring”. In view of high anxiety and frustrativeness this type can be referred to “risk zone” of neurotization. Addressing to the basics of personal activity the efforts to realize the problems result in actualization of conflict senses, turning to concepts with possible loss of the initial subject of reflecting, namely the loss of conceptual aspect. Reflection is accompanied by stressful ruminations on self as a professionally incompetent and personally unaccomplished person, intensifying the set stereotypes and tendencies to self-deprecation and self-accusation. Ultimately, one can observe leveling of individual-style features and declining quality of value-conceptual regulation of actions performed.

Conclusions.                                   

1. The peculiarities of coaches’ reflective position are distinguished by the following factors: level of awareness and constructiveness of reflexive experience (reflection as a process); level of development of reflective skill (reflection as a feature); stability of self-awareness (reflection as a state); significance mechanism initiations, including reflective stratum of consciousness.

2. The increase of the integrating function of self-awareness and the decrease of the differentiating (unbalancing) function of personality traits take place in the structure of reflective position with accumulated practical professional experience. The correlated effect of self-awareness structures and personality traits, defining the specifics of reflective position at unfavorable, “nonreflective” professional establishment can be the reason of leveling of the individual style of activity and decrease of the potential of personal development within solution of professional tasks and dealing with conflict aspects of personal self-realization.

3. Proceeding from the intensity of reflection measures, personal traits and parameters of self-awareness some reflective positions were allocated and characterized, namely: constructive; oversituational; areflective; personally self-pejorative; distinguished by the correlation of styles, orientations and forms of reflection along with the extent of integration and disintegration of personal mental features.

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Author’s contacts: a.voshchinin@mail.ru