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Films, coaching and developing our practice

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Using film as a medium for teaching and learning is nothing new but I think it is good to remind ourselves of the rich diversity they provide and so the discussion forum posts on best and favourite coaching films were great to read.

In my day job, I have been working with a colleague to use film for teaching in a business school. We take the view that we can explore the issues of organisational life using the stories in films as ‘cases’ either as whole or small vignettes.

We have gone beyond a mirror-like representation, by which I mean the likes of The Apprentice are not our first ‘port of call’, and this is my key point here. I wonder in addition to using coaching and sports-based films what else can we draw upon to build and develop us as coaches. Please don’t think I am criticising what has been suggested, watching Coach Carter and thinking about how different leadership behaviours may or may not work in a range of different situations should be invaluable. So, I would suggest keeping doing it (!), but also consider other films. An opportunity for thinking meaningfully about our practice can come from a change of sector, discipline or context, choose whatever word works for you, for example, we have used 2001: A Space Odyssey to consider the impact of Artificial Intelligence within organisations.

In the forum I suggested looking at Made in Dagenham as a ‘left-field’ choice, I think it contains ideas about leadership and group behaviour which could be useful for those in a range of sports. There are questions about where leadership comes from and how people respond to it.

As we may be about to spend more time on our own and not engaging as much coaching as we might have expected here are a couple of addition ‘left-field’ suggestions:

Freedom Writers: a school setting and teaching probably come close to our coaching experience but this story provides a rich experience of thinking about practice. I watch this idealistic teacher start her career and I recognise some of my mistakes and own naivety as she starts her teaching career.

The Big Short: This is a particular favourite of my colleague, but I share their view on it as a fascinating story of behaviour. The financial crash may seem like an extremely unusual place for coaches to look but consider the following. The establishment is fixated on what has gone before and the quest for profit. Through a failure to examine what they are doing, what some people describe as 'reflection in action', only a few see the impending financial crash.    

Hopefully food for thought! 

Please do share your views in the comments.

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