What inspired my research?
During school, I was quite reserved and lacked confidence. While I had some level of intelligence, I didn't achieve the top grades. However, my involvement in sports taught me the importance of hard work. The success I achieved in sports not only influenced my academic life, but also shaped my career path. Still, to this day, I am interested in how different sports provide different challenges, and how these challenges can help people with different circumstances to develop and grow.
Growing up in an Asian family, cricket played a significant role in our family, and I have fond memories of watching matches with my grandparents during summer breaks. My extended family also had a vested interest in cricket and advised my parents to let me join a cricket club. With immense support from my family, (and much to my surprise!) I was selected to play county cricket aged nine. With every good game and contribution to my team’s positive performances, my confidence increased.
Of course, there were bad games too, but by experiencing these ups and downs, I learned many life lessons. From learning patience and how to be a team player, to being humble, it really shaped me into the individual I am today. Cricket also provided me with a whole range of opportunities, which I was lucky to have at my disposal. From meeting, playing with and training with professional and ex-professional players to touring countries like India and Dubai to eventually going to the prestigious public school, Uppingham, I owe a lot to cricket and what it has given me. As I think back as well, cricket has given me some great memories, all of which I still cherish today.
My progress in cricket fuelled my desire to become a professional cricketer. Though that dream had to be set aside as there were others more competent than me, I remained committed to building a career in the sports industry. Whilst at Uppingham, I was able to take Physical Education (PE) as an A level and it was here that my career journey began. Taking PE enabled me to pursue a degree in Sport, Coaching and Physical Education at Oxford Brookes University. Coaching was always something that fascinated me - I always thought that my people skills and my knowledge of cricket would give me the right tools to coach at a wide range of levels.
As part of my degree, I had the opportunity to take a Sport Psychology module, which fascinated me. I found it intriguing to understand why certain athletes had a mental edge over others, and how this enabled them to consistently experience success. This helped me to realise that, in sport, we must focus on the person first, and the athlete later.