My Future in Sport
There are a number of reasons you don’t see as much sport being played by adults. Participation levels in sport decrease by 9.3% between the ages of 17-24, which is the age bracket in which most people graduate (The Heart Foundation, 2015). After people leave school, they may quit sport due to a lack of motivation, lack of time and a lack of opportunities to continue to play sports. Schools provide a number of opportunities for the students to access sport with ease; for example the students have the ability to join in sports that are based on their schedule, they have coaches, equipment and many more opportunities and enablers. But once they leave school it is a lot harder to be involved in sport, as they don’t have these same enablers and opportunities. To make sure I don’t stop playing sports after I graduate I have constructed an individual strategic plan (ISP). My plan involves the different activities that I will be taking on, such as joining a basketball social league. If I make the plan I will have something that will keep me wanting to play as if it is already planned I will be motivated to play.
My goal for the years to come is to join a basketball league at a local sports centre on a Wednesday night. I will also be surfing at the Gold Coast every Sunday morning for at least an hour with my friends. I believe this plan will work as I enjoy both these activities and will be motivated to continue. I like the sports but there are also many benefits, as surfing and basketball use the entire body, helping me improve my coordination, balance and overall strength. Although there are some potential barriers I have made effective recommendations to overcome these.
Schools make it very easy to compete in sport as it schedules extracurricular activities around you. University, however, doesn’t have sport based on your schedule. The extracurricular schedules in school gave me enough time to do my schoolwork and play sports without having to cram in all my work. The school also provided most of the equipment needed to play the sports I wished to play. University on the other hand does not provide you with any equipment that you might need for sports. On the whole universities are a lot less involved with the student’s sports participation. As a university student I will no longer be able to access the enablers that school provides and therefore I will struggle to access the sports I once played during school. Figueroa’s framework discusses the inequities across different levels of someone’s life that affect his or her access to and participation in sport. The institutional level discusses how the various institutions in our society, such as schools and universities, affect our participation in sport (Michael Kiss, 2010). University tends to value academics over sport much more than school does, which may affect my ability to participate in sport. To overcome this, I will need to become more independent, and seek out sports elsewhere, in local clubs or by myself. To become more independent, I will establish a schedule to incorporate both my lectures and my sporting commitments, making sure my sporting commitments are more flexible so I can take time off to study if I need to. I will also take initiative to find places such as sporting clubs that are available for my age group in my local area. Being more organised and taking initiative will increase my independence, enabling me to compete in sport while studying at university.
All sports rely on time. But if the games are at a time that doesn’t suit you, how will you ever be able to play? In the years to come I might not always have enough time to play sport due to studying or work. By using the SMART goal setting method I will be able to set goals to make time each week to compete in sports. Setting these goals will help me to complete assignments on time, so I will be able to take a break from university work and prioritise sports when necessary. SMART goals are an acronym for specific, meaningful, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For example, I will set goals such as “I will have my first essay paragraph done by 5pm, giving me enough time to get to my 7pm game.” This goal incorporates all the aspects of a SMART goal; it is specific, as I have set out a certain part of my assignment to complete; it is meaningful because it gives me the opportunity to compete in sport and achieve my larger goals; it is achievable because the assignment is being completed in small amounts; it is relevant because it aligns with my desire to complete my university degree and be qualified for work; and it is time-bound because I have set a specific time limit. By setting these goals my time will be managed better giving me enough time to compete in the sports of my choice.
There are three psychological factors that affect one’s performance in sport; motivation, confidence and arousal. If someone is lacking in any of these they will not be able to perform to their full potential. (Michael Kiss, 2010) You can’t play sport if you are not motivated. Motivation is something that is hard to gain by yourself. Studies have shown that people are more likely to play sports that their friends are involved in; a high level of peer support is linked to motivation, as peers can make you feel better about yourself and how you play (Sports Psychology ). If I get my friends involved we will be able to motivate each other to continue to play and improve our skills.
My plan to join a basketball league and surf on a weekly basis will succeed in keeping me exercising after I graduate from school. A number of potential barriers have been identified and I have made solutions to overcome each barrier. The barriers include opportunities, time and motivation, which I will overcome by increasing my independence, setting SMART goals and seeking peer motivation. Using this plan I will continue to improve my skills and overall fitness in the years to come