‘Think Aloud’: Toward a Framework To Facilitate Reflective Practice Amongst Rugby League Coaches

Amy Whitehead, Brendan Cropley, Tabo Huntley, Andy Miles, Laura Quayle, Zoe Knowles

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This study aimed to design, implement and evaluate a protocol encompassing Think Aloud (TA) as a technique to facilitate reflection-in-action and delayed reflection-on-action to aid coach learning. Six British, male rugby league coaches, who reported little previous exposure to reflective practice, consented to participate. Participants were: (a) instructed on how to engage in TA; (b) observed in practice using TA; (c) provided with individual support on delayed reflective practice on their first coaching session and use of TA; (d) observed in practice using TA a second time; and (e) engaged in a social validation interview regarding their experiences of TA. Analysis of in-action verbalizations revealed a shift from descriptive verbalizations to a deeper level of reflection. Both immediate and post eight week social validation interviews revealed that coaches developed an increased awareness, enhanced communication, and pedagogical development. The participants also recommended that TA can be a valuable tool for: (a) collecting in-event data during a coaching session; and (b) developing and evidencing reflection for coaches. Future recommendations were also provided by the participants and consequently, this study offers a unique technique to reflective practice that has the potential to meet the learning development needs of coaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-286
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Sport Coaching Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • Coach Education
  • Pedagogy
  • Rugby League
  • Reflection


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