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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 visited a Norwich school to meet with Luke Dickerson, a long-serving activity professional, team leader and valued member of our Norfolk based franchise. We learned more about what it’s like to be a coach at Premier Education. He provided insight into where his journey started, and how he progressed into coaching as well as his on-the-job daily routine. He also shares useful tips and advice for anyone considering becoming a Premier Education activity professional.
For many of our coaches, sport is a passion that is developed from a young age and eventually impacts their future life choices. This has been the case for Luke as he mentions, “I’ve always enjoyed sports and being involved within it. I’ve also always enjoyed being taught myself.”
Sports played a key role in Luke’s decision when planning his career and he mentions that coaches who mentored him as a child influenced his decision to pursue a coaching role.
“From a young age I’ve got on with the coaches and teachers I’ve had. The way they taught me inspired me to become a coach too.”
The journey was to be long. Tallying up a wealth of experience at each step, he had to be patient whilst making the most of every opportunity that came his way before finding his feet and eventually showcasing the skillset he had developed over time.
“I started very early. I did a Level 2 [sports coaching] apprenticeship and that was for 18 months before going onto a Level 3. From there, I started building my own experiences within schools.”
He adds, “I started on a 2-hour contract, then gradually from there I went up to 30, 35, and then full time eventually picking up leadership roles within the company.”
As a Premier Education activity professional, no day looks the same. It involves a wide variety of tasks that require regular execution. However, it is the delivery of sports and physical activity sessions that take up most of Luke’s day, an aspect of the job he relishes.
“A lot of it is the coaching and it’s quite hands-on but obviously is really exciting. It [involves] going to a school and maybe doing a breakfast club which you go to before the kids get to school. It may be some morning PE and sometimes you have lunch activities too.”
“There is quite a lot of delivery, it’s quite hands-on but at the same time it’s brilliant and you get quite a lot out of it.”
Naturally, by spending a lot of time with children and watching them progress, our coaches build great relationships. Not only with the kids but with colleagues as well. Luke agrees and explains what he enjoys most about his role.
“It helps you build relationships with the children especially.”
He continues, “Working at Premier Education you do go to lots of different schools and see lots of different people, building your relationships but I also think it helps you as a person.”
Becoming a top coach isn’t easy and requires all areas of the role to be executed to a high standard. We discussed this with Luke to further understand what is needed for a coach to be successful. One area that he mentions as critical to consider is time management.
“I think timekeeping is quite a big one so making sure you’re always on time, arriving at a venue on time, and making sure you have enough time to set yourself up.”
In addition, he shares advice for anyone considering becoming a coach in the future.
“The job is an amazing job, but you’ve got to enjoy it. Don’t go into a session thinking it might not be great today because of the weather or anything like that.”
Every session you get something out of it, so I’d say just make sure wherever you go and whatever you do, enjoy the job.