Recently I have discussed my route into and around sports with many people; questions such as: why do you like running? Why did you stop swimming? Why did you start triathlon? And it’s made me stop and realistically consider the reasons behind some of my choices in life, dissect them, and link them together. Our decisions in life can sometimes be made very quickly, without much hesitation, or even without realising we have actually made them! I know I never explicitly decided to become a competitive runner, yet I did have the aspiration of becoming teacher from a very young age, it came naturally, I registered my teddy bears every morning because that was when needed to be done at 7a.m. every morning of course…
When asked on BBC radio Lincolnshire about my past in sport, discussing swimming, training and goals in triathlon in running I had the sudden realisation that why I love sport is why I love teaching. It has made me wonder whether other people could see such links too? Is our attitude to sport intertwined with our motivation and aspiration in our job?
I know a few who see exercise in general as a chore, something they hate but ‘have to do’ to stay healthy or because mummy or the coach says so. To be honest I remember a day, standing at the shallow end of Grantham meres Leisure centre watching girls (who I could later be faster than) slip through the water, while I found swimming monotonous, boring and pointless, but something I had to do. Something all my friends were doing, my parents wanted me to do, and in general all 8 year olds were into some kind of sport. I hated it. But then I got hooked, addicted and enthralled by winning, improving, evaluating and getting rewards out of training. Sport became my outlet; it buzzed every fibre in my bone to personal best, to win or to get a praised by my coach and parents. In teaching my motivation is very similar, the end goal for me, to continually develop and increase my skill at making children happy and progressing. Knowing I have given that child the ‘light-bulb’ moment where they suddenly understand, where they refuse to leave school because it’s just so brilliant, when I can see that a lesson I have come up with (no not off the TES) has allowed a child to link their learning together and apply it. Pure brilliance. Another brilliant thing, in teaching it is never ending, every child is different and unique, there is not right way for every child. That sort of feedback is like a gold medal, personal best and county record for half marathon all rolled into one. The best reward and result.
Decisions are funny things, some big, some little, some very much made in our un-conscious thinking, blended with our personality and genetics. Take a moment to unravel how you got in your career and sport and look at the connecting features.