Follow-up on my evaluation

So I had my first evaluation/check-in with the big guys. I learned some things:

  1. I’m too hard on myself sometimes.
  2. I’ve been doing well.
  3. I’m so lucky to be where I am right now.
  4. There’s still room for improvement. There always is.

We talked about professionalism as a female too, and how unfortunate it is that some females in the profession mess things up for the ones who give their everything to be where they are. I’m not pointing fingers, but everyone knows how it is. He said he feels so bad that we have to deal with it in a male-dominated sport/athletic realm as a whole, and he couldn’t imagine how furious it would make him, and he didn’t blame any of us. It makes me very grateful to work under someone like him, however.

I can’t take any of this opportunity for granted so I’m going to take every chance I can to learn something. I am only here for one season, I need to soak in everything I can. I want to show myself (and my parents) that this was a good idea, that I wasn’t just wasting 6 months of my time living paycheck to paycheck. Anyway, they said to keep asking questions, as they like answering them and seeing us actually learn. So I’m going to keep doing that — the more I can learn at this soccer team, the more I can take this to other future soccer teams I want to work at. I decided to set 3 goals, because in school, we had mid-semester evaluations where we were to set goals for the end-of-semester evaluations.

  1. Be less lazy/lax (although I should say, be more focused/driven to do your best): this is important at practice. They mentioned I had a tendency to drift off, or focus way too hard on one thing and get tunnel vision — I need to pay more attention, but also have a wider span of focus. This reminds me of the stuff we learned in sports psych, how to reach optimal arousal for athletes and how to train athletes to do things subconsciously. So for example, this includes never sitting at practice, jogging (no need to run, but NO walking) on and off the field/between drills to give water. It’s not just about getting the guys water, it’s also about showing the coaches/athletes that you care enough to get out of their way so they can really focus on practice. It also includes making sure water bottle racks are out of the way of practice — and I always struggle with this, but I somehow miss EVERY time someone goes down at practice. Thankfully my chronic pain issues have resolved, and it’s not so much that I’m scared of my body hurting, I’m just sore from the gym and tired sometimes. So I just need to remember to push myself for that 1.5 hours of practice.
  2. Get to do more rehab plans with guys/take initiative with this: so I mentioned that I wanted to do more rehab, and we talked about ways for me to do this. Such as, guys who come in to just heat or do something small before practice, but don’t do any rehab or load the area — I just have to talk to my head AT and we’ll come up with a plan, which will mean me coming up with a rehab plan at night after work. I have to consider, too, the athlete in question — some of them will do anything to keep their bodies in top shape, some of them might not care as much. But overall I hope to accomplish this. We do a section of “correctives” to help with mobility and proper activation of muscles, and that’s what I’m primarily very interested in.
  3. Work on professionalism: so this goes back to the first one a bit, but another thing is sitting in the AT room. Don’t sit unless everything you need to do has been done, and sit properly. Sit on the stools, edges of tables — but do not sit all the way up on a table like the athletes do. If a coach or a general manager walked in and they saw that…not a good look. At least 3x in my AT career, I’ve been talking very loudly when coaches are trying to have a team meeting…I did it once this season with the 2nd team during a pre-game meeting, I was embarrassed for quite a long time. So this is something else during very important games…I hate saying this, but don’t speak unless you’re spoken to and all that, or be seen and not heard or whatever unless it pertains to your immediate task. I don’t have to be a stone cold gargoyle, but it’s just something to think about.

I have to remember, again, that first impressions, and impressions in general matter. In professional sports, especially something you may want to be in one day, you never know who you’ll run into again. Even if you have to jog a coach’s memory to remind them that you were an intern __ years ago at their old team…they may remember you, and that can be either a good thing or a bad thing. So do your best to make them all GOOD memories and impressions! That goes back to being hard-working and focused at practice!

So I’ll probably come back to this in about a month and see how I’ve done with my goals. It’ll be around the time I start my second job, anyway, which is way more independent so I’m excited. Also, I got the go-ahead on my recommendation letters, so here’s to getting into graduate school! Yay!

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