Now I have said I am a believer. A believer in the badge and football can be used to make a difference to people lives (something that’s even made the NWHPAF). But there is little support for actually ‘how to do’ stuff and how to do it better. Where can community football people go? For those involved there a number of places to look for further information – a couple are highlighted below in the first instance:
- Healthy Stadia : offers some insight through case studies and research (supported by the charity Heart of Mersey)
- Responsiball : is an emerging social platform with news (& jobs) (supported by a Schwery Consulting)
These links alone cannot answer the question of how to do things better. But one football saying which has cropped up over the years is “Control the Controllables”. How does this relate to community football? Well – coaches, practitioners and managers often don’t get the opportunity to get out of their club and spend some time with another club or services aligned to their projects and agendas. We need to make time for this and make it happen.
“Control the Controllables”
This time to reflect on our personal and/or project purpose, to observe others and share practice…will increase the chance of learning new and better ways of doing things and improve practice. The following steps lifted and adjusted from any decent reflective cycle might help guide the steps you can take reflecting on personal practice, a projects or a team performance:
1. What happened >
2. how did you feel >
3. what was good or bad >
4. make sense of situation >
5. what else could be done >
6. what would you do (next time) >
7. …Make Things Better!
Doing this and recording the process whether in a journal or diary can help anyone develop personally and also as a team. This type of reflective practice (or as one friend called it: thinking!!) is common place in nursing, teaching and higher education (HE) as a individual or group/team process. Moreover, I know some of the top practitioners working in performance sport and the Premier League do this too – surely we in community football can begin to adopt this process – or at least give it a go?
The other one that those in HE look forward to is sabbaticals (or time out of work!) to get out into a different environments, observe, reflect, build contact etcs (its good to talk – and all that!), with the results from these activities finally being shared with the rest of the department/team. Why shouldn’t people in community football do this (or maybe more often). Make and take time for this professional development practice. Maybe a mini-sabbatical is in order!
So the message is:
“control the controllables” – that is what you do!
Take time out
Experience new projects/clubs
Meet new people
Reflect (think about it) and plan
Make Things Better.