Sports and Exercise Science Personal Statement
I learnt about the many different positive qualities that participating in sports and exercise encourages through a period I spent recovering from an injury while I was in the Army. Setting myself targets for improvement gave me a sense of discipline and determination; meeting those targets and feeling my body become stronger improved my confidence; and exercising with fellow injured soldiers helped me to become a person who looks to nurture others and work as part of a team. Through this experience I also realised that coaching others would be a career path that could bring me both the enjoyment of doing something I love and allow me to help others fulfil their potential and develop as athletes and individuals. My years in the Army form a hugely important part of my life, during which I learnt an enormous amount about working with other people. I originally left school at a young age with little in the way of qualifications. However, being in the Army offered me opportunities to learn new skills, develop a faith in myself and fulfil my potential. This mentoring that the military offered me has proved to be an enduring inspiration to me. From early on in my Army career I decided that I would like to devote my post-service life to helping young people fulfil their potential, with my injury and physical rehabilitation giving a definite form to this early ideal.
I worked in a variety of roles during my time in the Army, but I would single out my work as a medic as having been the most rewarding. While on combat duty I treated and evacuated casualties, an experience which has given me a cool head when under pressure. Away from combat I provided medical support to those undergoing the Army’s gruelling paratrooper tests. Through this work I developed a very strong interest in the science behind athletic performance, including areas such as nutrition, healing mechanisms and physiology.
The HND that I am currently completing in Sport Coaching and Developing Sport has been a great way of building on the medical knowledge I gained while in the Army and adapting it to sports and exercise. So far I have really enjoyed everything that the course has covered. While areas such as physical conditioning have built on what I already knew, others such as sports psychology have given me a new perspective on what conditions sporting success and how to motivate people to perform to their potential.
One of the most rewarding and enjoyable parts of my HND is the work placements I have completed, which have given me a real taste for teaching young people. I enjoyed the diversity of sports and activities I taught during my primary school placements, not to mention the diversity of the children themselves. Mastering some basic Polish to help one girl in the class take part was perhaps the most satisfying moment from my primary placements. I was also involved in organising sports days and tournaments. Our use of an Olympic theme really helped motivate the children, and through refereeing and umpiring I improved my abilities to manage large groups of children. In my secondary placement I had the chance to work with children with disabilities, something that I had been eager to do as a result of my own experiences of working with injured soldiers. The experience was as rewarding as I had envisaged it would be and has strengthened my desire to ultimately become a PE teacher specialising in working with disabled children or adults.
My personal sporting passion is rugby. In addition to being the captain of my college’s team, I am also a team member of Moffat R.F.C. and coach the club’s junior teams. I’ve become fanatical about detailed preparation for training sessions and have an ever-expanding collection of coaching plans and diagrams. I also love reading the biographies of rugby greats to get a sense of what drove them to success. I am also tapping into my love of the sport as I complete the UKCC Level 1 certificate in preparation for university studies.
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