When a six month old baby is placed in front of a mirror, he or she will smile and giggle at his or her image in the mirror. Later, as the child develops into a twenty month old toddler, he or she will recognize his or her reflection in the mirror as a self image. In the mirror test, psychologists place a red dot on the child nose. As the child looks into the mirror, he or she reaches up to touch their nose, recognizing that the image in the mirror is a self image.
During last week’s session of Project Coach, the high school coaches had a similar experience of recognizing and critiquing themselves. The high school coaches ran through drills, plays and games with fellow coaches to improve their positive encouragement, loud voices and enthusiasm. The activities were filmed by Will Bangs, a graduate student at Smith College Master of the Arts in Teaching. Will and the high school coaches watched the video to increase their awareness of body language, presence on the court and coaching voices.
Just like the twenty month old toddler, the high school coaches develop a mental conception of their coaching style through the modern day mirror, the camera. Selected footage is then reviewed in front of the whole group at the weekly Coaching Academy to help all coaches learn from each other, and to refine their coaching style through continual assessment and development.