Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness
Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Communication and working relationships in sport and fitness

4 Exploring three feedback principles

There is a considerable amount of management and coaching research and resources dedicated to explaining effective feedback in sport and in the workplace. Effective communication is a key part of feedback. You will now consider part of an article in which ways to give effective feedback are described. It comes from the field of education, but most of its ideas apply to the workplace and sport.

Activity 4 Ways to give better feedback

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

Read the three sections ‘Correct quietly’, ‘Combine open and closed questions’, ‘End with clear action points’ in this Guardian article ‘Seven ways to give better feedback to your students [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ’.

How do these three principles compare or contrast to your own experiences of how feedback is delivered in sport or fitness?


Correcting quietly, with private individual correction, is perhaps standard practice in many workplaces, yet in parts of sport there are plenty of examples of feedback being given in public and sometimes at high volume. The quieter approach was highlighted using the highly appropriate term ‘the whisper correction’. The use of open questions was explained as being valuable as they allow the voice and perspective of participants to be heard and this is seen to influence their engagement. The earlier section on hedging and boosting language is also highly applicable to optimising feedback communication.

The advice to ‘end with clear action points’ is reflected in a 2017 insight into a national rugby team’s feedback practice. The national coach Eddie Jones said: ‘We don’t have old-fashioned team meetings where the coach gets up and makes a speech for 10 minutes … We never have a meeting that lasts longer than 15 minutes and we never have a meeting that has more than three points’ (Austin, 2017).


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371