Update 26/1/19 287
In some professional fields of work practice - teaching and nursing are two that come to mind, there's a necessity to reflect on what you do in order to adopt new strategies and approaches to your work, in order to keep on top of what you're doing and maintain professional standards.
If you're old enough you may remember 2013 and the Australia teams "Homeworkgate" incident after a lost series in India...
After Australia's humiliating defeat to India in the second test at Hyderabad - where they became the first side in test history to declare in the first innings but then lose by an innings - players were asked to identify three areas of possible improvement.
To me, this sounds as though they were asked to reflect on what they'd done in a more formal manner rather than simply chat about it and sleep on it, which to me coming from a educational background seems like a reasonable request. At the same time I can see why in a sports scenario such as the Australian cricket team this might not have gone down that well.
That aside, I reckon there's a place for it in cricket in both the informal manner and the more formal written way which I'm going to explain. It's evident that some cricket players do it in their own personal way as a part of their development and practice and I write about this in one of the other posts - see here
Needless to say a lot of people will think this is total nonsense and an utter waste of time, but others might see it differently and see some merit in it. So, what does it involve?
Gibbs Reflective model
In Peter Philpotts book The Art of Wrist Spin bowling one of the things that he tries to get across to the reader is the need to take all aspects of your training, practice and development seriously. Grimmett too, wasn't one to take practice lightly and practiced pretty much in isolation, never bowling in nets to a batsman because he wanted no-one to know his tricks. If you take your bowling seriously an extension of the committed practice might also include reflecting on what you do in the form of a written response?
So, it works like this... You have a practice and you get nowhere. But, rather than get on the XBOX and start playing PUBG or spend the next 5 hours looking at memes on your phone you use this illustration of the Gibbs reflective cycle to reflect on what went wrong and devise a plan to for the next session.
(1). Description (What happened)? You clarify what it was that you went out to practice on. Again, referencing Philpott, there is no point on going out without an aim or an objective, so this first question gets you to look at whether that was the case. What happened did you really go out there with a clear intent and did you stick to it? Briefly you write down what you did - a paragraph or two.
(2). Feelings (What were you thinking and feeling)? Again, this requires a brutally honest appraisal of your emotional response. Were you up for it? Was your state of mind correct, or did you practice with your head somewhere else or did you go and practice to take your mind off of something else. Again a brief written response of a paragraph or two.
(3). Evaluation (What was good and bad about the experience)? This is fairly self-explanatory and again should be kept to a few paragraphs, I try not to dwell too much on the negatives and look for the positives and try and use an approach where I use two positives where possible and one negative aspect. This usually relates to what you actually did - the physical aspects of the practice.
(4). Analysis (What sense can you make of the situation)? This is the important bit and when I teach this, I tell students this is the bit that should contain the most detail. In order for it to be analytical there needs to be a questioning aspect to the process - ask the question what if and explore what the outcome would be if something was done differently - why might it make a difference.
(5). Conclusion (What else could you have done)? You might find that you draw conclusions in the analysis section, so pick out the main conclusion and reiterate it or skip this section and go straight to the action plan.
(6). Action Plan (if it arose again what would you do)? Well, it is going to arise again, because you're going to have play or practice again in the future. So, plan what you're going to do, how will you implement a plan or strategy? What are you going to do next time you practice that is going to enable some form of improvement, what are you looking to improve - how are you going to do it and when?
As I said it wont suit everyone, but some people will find that by writing stuff down and being brutally honest with yourself like this in black and white does actually help.
Here's some examples from my old blog...
If you're not convinced and need more evidence of it's potential see here https://www.businessballs.com/self-awareness/reflective-practice/