Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Journey into Physical Education

I figured for my first post I should explain how I got here, to P.E. Sorry it's kind of long, but it's been a long journey here.

I was a typical kid growing up. As a younger kid I played as many sports as I could. I sometimes wonder how, or more importantly, why my parents drove me from practice to practice, game to game. I remember a few times where I was have a basketball game a half an hour from home and have to rush to a hockey game or practice back in my hometown. But I think they realized I loved sports, so they did it, and I appreciate it.

When I got into high school I decided to focus on one sport, soccer. When it was the "off-season" I played indoor through the winter and spring, played in outdoor leagues over the summer. I became obsessed with the sport, which I still am.

When it was time to decide on a college I had been leaning towards athletic training but decided to go for Physical Therapy because I thought it left me with more options. I enrolled in a small college in Buffalo, NY because they had a soccer team I could play on and wanted me to play. The Doctorate of Physical Therapy program was an intense program with no breaks really. I also realized that I didn't like PT. I decided to transfer home to a community college until I realized what I wanted to do.

While I went to community college I went through way too many majors. I started in biology just because I had the science credits. I thought maybe about becoming a doctor but couldn't really see myself doing that. I decided to go for science education but me? teach labs for a living? I don't think so. I kept the education idea and decided to switch majors into a history education program.

I played a year of soccer at the community college but couldn't play a second because I had used two years of eligibility. I wanted to continue to do something with soccer and it just happened that my old high school had an opening as the modified boy's soccer coach. I had been helping my former varsity coach the previous season while playing at the community college and he suggested that I apply for it. The first year I co-coached with a friend of mine from high school, and the second year they decided they only wanted one coach, and selected me.

The athletic director must have been happy with my performance (either that or she was desperate) because she offered me another job coaching 7th grade girl's basketball. I hadn't played basketball since I was in 8th grade so it was a learning experience for me. Not only was I coaching girls for the first time, but I had to study the game to become the best coach I could. I don't take much credit for it, but the girls didn't lose a game that season.

Also during the summer for the past two years I have worked at a sports camp for my church. It has been a great experience for me. Many of the kids that go to the camp are from the Boy's and Girl's club so it gave me an opportunity to work with kids from many different backgrounds and with many different abilities. I always found a way to keep things fun at the camp, while still being professional and responsible for my duties.

Through coaching both teams and working at the camp, I learned that I loved working with kids and loved being active. It was very clear to me that History education wasn't for me. So I decided to start taking classes that would transfer into a P.E. program. Since I made that decision I have never looked back, and never second guessed myself.

So here I am. This is my first semester at SUNY Cortland and so far I really like the school and the P.E. program. I can't wait to get out there and working with kids. While this blog was required for a class, I think I can make it more than that. Hopefully this will be a way for me to stay connected to friends and family both at home, as well as those living away. It will also be a way to get across that P.E. is more than just "gym class." It is a changing profession and I will be ready for that change. But I'll get into that more in the future...

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