Since a very young age I have been watching my Dad coach Basketball for National League level teams such as the Reading Rockets and Thames Valley Tigers and after being in that environment on a weekly basis, travelling to many areas of the UK supporting him, I now feel comfortable and confident in a sports hall full of extremely tall guys and a lot of noise! After discovering hockey when I started secondary school, and with my Dad changing career paths, my basketball took a step back until we both took on roles with the School Sports Partnership 5 years ago; myself as a Sports Ambassador, promoting the Olympic values and ideals in local primary schools and with my Dad as a coach delivering breakfast, lunchtime and after-school club training sessions in different schools every day of the week. This developed into us setting up our own basketball club, the Wokingham Panthers, where I coach the U8-U12 teams and assist him with the U14-U18 and senior teams.
When first choosing my degree, I was adamant that I didn’t want a degree in coaching as I felt that I coach more for enjoyment and for developing the skills of young athletes and increasing their passion for the sport, rather than wanting to narrow myself down to being a coach every day as a career. However, in the summer of 2011, my Dad and I played in a mixed national league with the Bracknell Aztecs. Being on the court alongside experienced male and female players who were all many years older than me, I felt I needed to put age and gender aside and make the most of the experience. After my success within the squad and teams, I suddenly felt like that was the environment I wanted to stay in. Even though it would be against all the odds that I would be successful, the exposure to the challenge excited me!
When I found the Sports Performance and Coaching FdSc course that was available at Moulton College, and after much deliberation between it and similar courses run by the University of Northampton, it became clear that I would be able to combine my enthusiasm for coaching and embracing new challenges with my academic passion for anatomy and physiology and would gain a lot more than simply coaching experience. Now that I have settled into the structure of our timetables, got to know the other students in my class and started to become a lot more familiar with studying at this new standard, I am certain I have made the correct choice. This degree will aid my newly developed drive to become the coach of a top level men’s team by teaching me not only extensive knowledge of the theory of coaching, fitness, psychology and human biology, but also by potentially helping me gain valuable links and experiences within a professional sport and exercise setting. The level of teaching and support from the tutors and lecturers, and their connections within the workplace, have also made me feel a lot more confident about working hard and achieving my goals.