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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Steve Black - Reflection - THE English F.A.

A Process of Reflection 

For Steve Black, Jonny Wilkinson’s coach and mentor of 17 years, the process of reflection is central to the daily coaching and mentoring work he does with the Toulon star.

On a daily basis Black captures thoughts, ideas and opinions, giving him a bank of reference points to revisit in the future.

He said: “Every day I take notes and every night I revisit them. I go back and revisit my diary every day.

“I can go back on my journals for years and years. They are something that nobody else can have, that nobody else can see and that’s what I say to young coaches – start them now and they will become the most valuable resource you will ever have.”

This process of reflection is particularly important to his work with Wilkinson on a day-to-day basis.

The former Newcastle Falcons coach reveals that a dedicated routine of review and reflection after each training session has become a main component in the culture that has shaped the fly half’s career.

“There’s a quality control which is a day-by-day thing we do where Jonny looks at what he has done that particular day and assesses whether he is happy with it or not. He can be very honest with himself about that.”

Black goes on to explain that Wilkinson has a simple 1-10 ranking system which he uses at the end of every day.

Marks are given on: quality of effort; quality of contribution - focusing on decision-making and execution; quality of support and interaction with colleagues; and a final mark for the results of that days endeavour.

And he reveals that Wilkinson’s appetite for reflection is not limited to his own development work, but that he is naturally inquisitive about any resource he can use to his advantage.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for his intellect. He is a very, very clever lad.

“He has got a deep understanding of things and is very inquisitive. He wants to know why, why and what?

“He’s a great reader, a great listener and a great contemplator. He doesn’t just read a book and leave it there, he will reflect on it and take from it and try to improve his tool box so he can use it.”


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