Tuesday, saw me take a long drive to Southport to visit Southport High School. I was there in my Watersports capacity and the day saw me use kayak ergos in science lessons. I related the physics and biology of kayaking and canoeing into their science lesson. It was challenging for me to keep the group engaged and lots of prep went into the session, thankfully it all went well. Then later in the day I took a yr 7 dance lesson using the fundamentals of paddlesport and my winter paddling indoor ideas... the lesson went down a storm! The group were so responsive. Many thanks go to the teacher Mr Smethurst for the organisation behind the day.
Then today, I was at Droitwich High School as part of my Sky Sports Athlete Mentor role. I worked with a GCSE PE group looking at the psychology in sport and gave the group some methods I personally use to keep my anxiety down when my heart pounds in competitions. That and introducing mental imagery and how powerful it can be to assisting performance. Then off to engineering talking about what a Dr of Shoes really is and what it is like to be a sports engineer and how I ended up crashing cars for a living. Then probably the session I was most nervous about... English. I am sure if my Secondary school English teachers read this, they would remember how I struggled with the subject. So for this was out of my comfort zone. What I found is honesty is the best policy and the group I worked with could totally relate to this. I spoke about how I came to write 'Climbing Back' and why I published it. The group are currently reading my book, so I hope they continue to enjoy it. At the end of it, I felt happy and fulfilled.... It is days like this that doing something out of your comfort zone pays off and gives you more confidence to do it more often. Thanks to Mr Boaler for today.
Lastly, my role as an athlete mentor is a grounding one. It certainly puts life into perspective and reminded me why I put myself forward to do it. As I said to my English group earlier today... the success of my book does not come from how many I sell. It is how many I can affect and inspire to see a barrier as a challenge and to enjoy whatever they set out to do. The athlete mentor role is exactly the same, if I can impact and inspire a young person or even empower them to take on a challenge or chose to succeed rather than leave it to chance... then ... well you just can't put a figure to that. It is figure'less and ultimately rewarding.
Can't wait to meet my schools and groups next week at Alice Stevens, Coventry and Chadsgrove School, Bromsgrove. Have a great weekend all!