Sports Science Personal Statement
Football has been a hugely important part of my life that has in many respects shaped me into the person who I am today. In addition to playing for both my school and my county, I have also trained with Gillingham, Crystal Palace, Charlton Athletic and Heart of Midlothian. My years at Charlton Athletic between the ages of twelve and sixteen were especially instructional for understanding the many different and complex ingredients that go into professional sporting success. Training with senior professionals at these clubs has also stimulated my interest in the sporting mind. My undying commitment to be the very best footballer I can be, demonstrated by my being awarded player of the year and top scorer of Ardingly College in the 2011/2012 season, has also helped to mould me into a tenaciously committed individual. I love learning about, participating in and improving at almost any physical pursuit. The broadness of my enthusiasm was rewarded through my appointment as Sports School Captain at Ardingly College. I represented the college with pride at football, tennis, squash, cricket, athletics and hockey, and also competed at county level in football, cross country and athletics. Giving my all in such a wide range of sports has given me a curiosity for a wide selection of subjects that surround sport, from the relationship between body and mind to how people motivate themselves and others. Being part of so many different teams has also helped me to become a much better communicator and developed my interpersonal skills.
Sports psychology is just one example of the academic side of sport that fascinates me. One element of this field that truly excites my curiosity is the question of what motivates people when they compete in a sport, whether at an elite professional level or as amateur. Reading Jose Mourinho’s autobiography, in which he discusses the psychological dimensions of sporting motivation at length, is just one way I have tried to learn more about this area. At the same time, I am eager to learn about the way that sports link to society more widely. In my view sport has a massive potential to exert a positive influence on society, whether through helping people to learn to work together or encouraging them to lead healthy lifestyles.
To date I have successfully combined dedicating countless hours to sports with academic success. My hard work in the classroom led to me being awarded an academic scholarship to Ardingly College. I was also awarded Silver in a Maths Olympiad. The A Levels I studied have helped to prepare me for studying a sports-based subject at university: PE provided me with an essential understanding of areas such as physiology and nutrition, while Psychology equipped me with a knowledge of how the mind works when people are under physical and mental pressure.
This season I am coaching two different football teams of players aged between fourteen and sixteen. One is a village team, while the other is the team of a private school. I feel that I have been prepared in part for these roles through a leadership course I took at Ardingly College in 2011, where I learnt how to use group activities to help build children’s skills in areas such as teamwork. Through having refereed at a Sussex under-thirteen football tournament last year I have had also had the chance to closely observe how children respond to different events on a football field. I anticipate that my skills as a coach are going to improve considerably through taking the FA’s Level Two coaching certificate, and I am looking forward to the course further improving my skills as an organizer, planner and motivator. When I am not coaching I enjoy my role as a reader at my church’s services.
Having the skills to motivate others to perform to their potential when playing sports is what drives me above all else, and it is my dream to be able to put these skills to use in a job where I act as a bridge between an academic institution and the world of sport.
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