Reflection Exercise: Perspective

Retired U.S. Army First Lieutenant Melissa Stockwell, the first female solider wounded in Iraq, and a member of the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Team, lit the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Warrior Games.

The intention of this exercise is to help coaches and administrators see challenging scenarios from varying perspectives. Each coach or staff member should receive one of the scenarios offered in the worksheet download, upon which they should take time to reflect (skip the “chaplain” perspective if you do not have an active Chaplaincy Program at your institution). Each worksheet should have the scenario at the top, and the following questions:

  • As the (freshman starter / the parent of the benched junior / the assistant coach / the chaplain / the captain / the trainer) how do you see yourself responding?
  • What parties are vital to the resolution of this situation?
  • If this remains unaddressed – if you do nothing – who are the winners and who are the losers in this situation?

Allow your participants time with the scenario to answer the questions. They won’t necessarily know they’re all responding to the same scenario, each from a different perspective. When discussing their responses, take note of the factors and individuals that played into their decision making. The goals of this exercise are to:

  • Gain perspective, and show reverence for the individual;
  • Address issues with integrity;
  • Enter conversations with humility;
  • Act with empathy;
  • Utilize resources at your avail;
  • Realize the ripple effect of unaddressed issues.