Tom Pallot (Sport and Exercise Science Student)
Attended St Brendan's 2015-2017
Subjects studied: Sport L3, A-level Biology, Psychology, EPQ.
After St Brendan’s I went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Bath, where I have just completed my placement year as part of my degree. I have found the course incredibly enjoyable so far. At times you can feel a bit overwhelmed with work, trying to tackle 3 or 4 pieces of coursework at a time, but as long as you are disciplined and organised you can get through it. My course has given me so much insight into the science that underpins athletic performance and health. This is made clear through labs involving physiological testing and biomechanical analysis.
It has also given me the knowledge to effectively conduct research, manipulate variables to bring about changes in performance and analyse how someone moves. These components can be adjusted to bring about optimal performance.
During my placement year, I worked as a strength and conditioning coach at Royal Russell School and as a sports science consultant. In my role as a strength and conditioning coach, I worked with high-level youth athletes to develop their functional movement and sport-specific strength to bring about optimal performance and prepare them for elite level sport. In my other role as a sports science consultant, I provided guidance to clients on nutrition and developed training programs tailored to individuals. It also gave me the opportunity to be involved in conducting research for articles published in The Telegraph on topics such as the 'vegan diet', which has inspired me to start my own blog focusing on running, health and fitness.
The career support I received at St Brendan’s was one of the main reasons I came to choose Sport and Exercise Science. Beforehand, I had been looking at other courses such as Physiotherapy and Sports Therapy, but after having a discussion with a careers advisor I realised that there was a better course out there for me. I decided it would be more beneficial for me to pursue a career I could be more passionate about.
I also received a lot of support and advice with my personal statement when applying, which really helped my application and resulted in getting my first choice university. The EPQ that I carried out was something I am really glad I did. Many of the skills in things such as research and referencing that I developed when writing it gave me a sort of head start. So, if you are given the opportunity to do the EPQ I could not recommend it enough!
My advice to current students would be to never settle for 'just enough', always strive to be the best you possibly can. There is no point settling for adequacy, when you can strive for your dreams.
In 10 years time, I don’t know where I want to be and I think that’s okay. Even now, when I am about to go into the final year of my undergraduate degree I don’t know what direction I want to go in, and even when I have chosen a direction I know that it is okay to go back and choose another one.
If I had to narrow it down to a few options though, I suppose in 10 years time I will either have not long completed a PhD in the fields of strength and conditioning or sports psychology, be pursuing a career in personal training or I will be in teaching (which believe me when I was in college is not something I thought I would ever be considering!)