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At each and every Premier Education session, our coaches (we call them activity professionals) host a range of exciting sports and activities, whilst providing excellent childcare. A combination guaranteed to help children learn, develop and grow. But who are our coaches?
We spoke with Alex Peek, a Norfolk-based Activity Professional to learn more about his journey into coaching, what a day in the life of a coach looks like, and get top tips for anyone wanting to take up the role in the future.
From a young age, Alex has always possessed leadership skills which eventually encouraged him to pursue a role in coaching.
“I’ve always been a leader and often quite vocal about things. Also, I’ve always felt that I have a good understanding of sports in general, so coaching was quite natural for me.”
His journey in the industry started at the age of 16, when he landed his first coaching role, which saw him support young children on Saturday morning match days at a local football club.
University was the next step in his development, studying for a degree in Sports Coaching and he picked up extra qualifications along the way. By the time Alex finished his education, he was ready to experience coaching full-time and continue his development in the working world.
“From there (university), I’ve just had more experiences” he explains, “eventually setting up my own coaching business in one-to-one football. Now I’m an Activity Professional here. Coaching is my life really.”
Any given day is different for an activity professional as the role consists of a wide range of responsibilities. From planning an energetic sports session to delivering a fun afternoon activity, there’s never a dull day as an activity professional at Premier Education.
We managed to get Alex to lift the lid on what a typical day looks like for him as he shares some of his day-to-day activities when he’s working in a school during term time.
“I start (the day) by greeting receptionists and other teachers before setting up for the first activities.”
He adds, “From there I have different lessons with different year [groups] doing different things. Usually, [you’ve prepared] an outline of a lesson and you just run through [the day] like that. That’s a typical school day.”
Delivering sessions and seeing children progress is Alex’s favourite part of the role. Working with a group of kids for a stretch of time allows coaches to observe them as they grow, and support them in achieving their personal best. The activity professionals’ role in the process is pivotal and an enjoyable experience as Alex explains.
“I get to see a lot of the kids progress and not only [with their] technical ability but also in confidence. They show their abilities and seeing from when you first started teaching them to the end, there’s a big difference and that’s quite rewarding.”
Working with large numbers of children at one time and delivering multiple sessions a day, coaching can be very hands-on. So, we asked Alex what essential quality he thinks someone needs to become an activity professional at Premier Education…
“I think being organised in the sense that you know what equipment you have, your lesson plans are there, you know what kids [are attending] and you’ve got a [complete] timetable.”
He extends his advice further and shares tips for anyone wanting to become an activity professional in the future by stating:
Even if you aren’t the most confident you [can] go in and start shadowing coaches so you can get confidence from them. There are lots of resources that you can go off. It’s not a dangerous place to be in and there’s lots of help that you can get from different people.