Life at JM – an Apprentice’s Experience
Read about Sports Coaching & TA apprentice experiences in Wirral & Liverpool
On my experience of completing my apprenticeship with JM Sports Coaching, I found myself a place and new route of sport I had never approached. Working within schools has always been a priority of mine since I was in my early years of 6th form college, having the chance to earn a living whilst doing this as a job was a very big opportunity for me. Before joining JM I had recently left the armed forces due to finding the career path I actually wanted. Knowing I would be paid whilst learning was perfect for me to take on. Everyone at the JM office was so nice and I have made a best friend from my interview day, that now is my colleague within the company. The job has taught me so much throughout the year of the apprenticeship from behaviour management, community projects and much more. Whilst doing my apprenticeship the line management would come to us with all types of different coaching courses and badges to help our continuous personal development and improve our skills. My tutors throughout the course were very helpful in my practical and theory based work. They were always there whevener I needed them and helped me whenever I could. At the end of my apprenticeship I was offered a job by the management of the company and I was ever so please to know I was still going to be part of the team and that my hard work did not go un-noticed. I am now looking to further myself in going to university to study for my PGCE and take my coaching career to teaching primary children. With my experience in schools already I can see how it works on a daily basis and look forward to what the future in JM has to bring.
Anthony Mason, Sports Coaching Apprentice, Liverpool
I've been with JM Sports for 2 years now and I first started as an Level 2 apprentice just shadowing coaches at schools, I didn't have much confidence when I first started and was really nervous when I was going into schools however after a few weeks being in schools I become more relaxed and started to enjoy it more.
I then was forwarded onto the Level 3 programme 6 months later, I had gained a lot more knowledge and confidence in my first 6 months and was ready to start leading my own sessions in schools. After a while on level 3 I would start to have my own apprentice with me that would shadow me.
After a year of being on level 3 I was pleased to have been kept on as a senior coach for JM in where I was leading sessions on a daily basis, I had gained so many skills such as confidence, leadership, knowledge and much more. Looking back at my time at JM I believe it to be a excellent journey, had fun and met a lot of great people on the way.
Steve Smith, Sports Coaching Apprentice, Liverpool
When I joined JM Sports Coaching in November 2011 I had just left school with only my GCSE’s as qualifications. Whilst with JM I completed my NVQ Level 2 in Activity Leadership and then went on to complete my NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Sports Development. During this period of completing these NVQ’s, I have gained many life skills and knowledge which has helped me achieve my desirable career path.
I have managed to gain a career path that is working with disabled people, with a variety of disabilities. I believe that I have gained this career path by gaining the following skills:
- People skills
- Communication skills (communicating with a variety of ages and a variety of ability)
- Listening skills
- Team work skills
- Initiative skills
- Organisational skills
- Being able to adapt at the last minute
- Being flexible
- Planning skills
- Making sure activities performed can be differentiated
- Being able to adapt the way I work to suit the clients I am working with or colleagues I am working with.
This shows that just because you are gaining a qualification in one specific subject area does not mean you cannot use the skills learnt along the way to help you adapt to another job role.
Rebecca Thurlow, Teaching Assistant Apprentice, Wirral & Cheshire
After completing Sport & Active Leisure Diploma L3, and BTEC Sport L3 at 6th form, I had discovered that my strengths in the sporting industry was in coaching. I started off doing voluntary football coaching for a local leisure centre, and assisting coaches at a water sports centre. After gaining around 150 hours coaching experience along with qualifications such as FA Level 1, PADI Rescue Diver, and Sailing Level 1, I decided to look for coaching jobs.
I quickly came across JM Sports (JM Education). I applied and was accepted onto the Sports Development L3 apprenticeship. I shared common interests with coaches, and apprentices I can now call my friends. I quickly discovered that “JM” is like a big family. They guide you, always someone to listen, help you, and they push you to make sure you gradually reach your potential.
After a few weeks of settling in I started to assist senior coaches to learn how sessions are coached at JM. I was impressed by the quality of the coaching. I was not put off by this, as the way of coaching was a clearly taught to me on the job, and through academic study. It was easy to learn as it’s not like school, every day is different!
After 2 terms I was then ready to coach my own sessions. JM gradually gave me the responsibility of being senior coach. Starting off taking my own afterschool clubs to coaching foundation curriculum, then KS1, to KS2, eventually high school and adults.
In my time at JM I have gained qualifications in; Dodgeball, Gymnastics, Boxercise, have my powerboat license, gained my driving licence, and am now driving. I can now say I can teach whatever is on the curriculum, whether it’s Football, Gymnastics, fitness classes or even Dance!
Throughout nearly 2 years at JM, I have gained valuable life skills worth more than any qualification. I have become more professional, learnt how to meet different learning needs of participants, and most importantly if every participants needs are met, then there is no need for behavioural management... Children learn best when they are having fun!
Darren McDonough, Sports Coaching Apprentice, Wirral & Liverpool
I joined JM, in June 2012; I had left sixth form and was looking for some form off work, involving sports. I applied for the apprenticeship and got a place. My time at JM was thoroughly enjoyable, all the staff have really helped and supported me throughout my time there and really helped me to develop into the coach I am now.
After my 18 months at JM I have left them with two qualifications, they are my Level 2 Activity Leadership and my Level 3 sports development; I have also gained a vast amount of knowledge, which has enabled me to walk into a job working in a primary school on a full time basis. None of this could have been achieved without my time at JM.
Before I joined JM my basic understanding of sport coaching was very basic, I now can confidently take sessions and lead others in a number of sports and to a high standard. The assessors and tutors that JM offer are of a high standard, it has been with their help and guidance which has helped me to reach the higher standard of work that I can now offer.
For anyone interested in becoming a sports coach or working in sports JM is an excellent way in which to get your foot in the door and also a good place to begin your career as you will gain the knowledge and experience to allow you to go on to achieve what you want.
Daniel Gardiner, Sports Coaching Apprentice, Wirral