Facilitation is an Art: Using Experiential Learning to Enhance Group Management

Alexander (AJ) LaLonde, Comprehensive Soldier & Family Fitness - Performance Expert, USA
Alicia Johnson, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA
Brian Miles, CSF2-PREP, USA
Marcus Washington, Apex Performance, Inc., USA

Theme: Group dynamics

Program ID: WKSP-11

Presentation: October 2, 2013 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Room: Oak Alley


Experiential Learning (EL) is most simply described as “learning by doing combined with reflection,” (Gassner, 1993, pg. 4). Recently, EL techniques have been applied to sport settings including athletic academic advising (Groves, Bowd, & Smith, 2010) and sport psychology consulting (Johnson et al., 2012). In the context of sport psychology, EL may be a viable option for enhancing group management. Whether a sport psychology consultant holds the belief that groups develop in a linear (Tuckman, 1965), cyclical, or pendular (Feinstein, 1987) manner, the underlying belief seems to be that groups do not move from un-cohesive to cohesive in one step. Rather, groups may become cohesive when given opportunities for growth and development. Facilitators of workshops based in EL carefully design programs in a way that provides these development opportunities. This design technique is called sequencing, or “the careful ordering of group activities based on the group’s needs, goals, and settings,” (Stanchfield, 2008, pg. 34). The goal of this workshop is to provide sport psychology consultants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to utilize EL techniques as a way to enhance group management during sport psychology workshops. A large emphasis will be placed on the participants’ development as facilitators. An introduction to EL will be given with a focus on purposeful planning and facilitation of workshops. Participants will have the opportunity to briefly practice these EL techniques as they relate to group management in a small group breakout setting. In addition, participants will be introduced to a variety of activities that can be sequenced into sport psychology workshops. Lastly, the participants will be brought together for a large group debrief that will allow them to share lessons learned and pose questions resulting from the workshop.

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