When winning is not enough: learning through reflections on the ‘best‐self’

Tony Ghaye, Sarah Lee, Daniel J. Shaw, Gavin Chesterfield

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review


This paper explores the view that, for some, it is not enough simply to win, but to win with integrity and care. This is linked with the idea of the reflected best-self (RBS) and RBS portraits are illustrated with short narratives from football, netball and equine sport. It is suggested that the notion of the RBS and its (re)construction adds something new and different to the principles and processes of reflective learning. The point is made that any use of narratives requires those involved to develop their narrative intelligence. The dynamic nature of RBS portraits, and in particular their (re)construction, is explained with reference to 'thin-slicing' and to the impact of four types of 'jolt'. Latterly, it is suggested that, at the coach-athlete level, there is a clear need to place high quality connections (HQC's) at the heart of improving performance. Supportive of this is a commitment to accentuate the positive in any process of learning through reflection. One implication of the issues raised in this paper is that coach education may have to let go of some of its silo practices and build new and creative bridges across different arenas of scholarship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-401
Number of pages17
JournalReflective Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2009


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