My Final Exam
My final exam was a case study presentation – we had to plan a one year periodised training plan for a client. All my classmates were top strength and conditioning coaches for teams like NZ Netball, the Warriors, Blacksticks and so on. I was nowhere close to them and man, I was so intimidated! I decided to plan a program for the India women's 7s team.
On presentation day everybody was looking mean and showing off their fancy plans and strength and conditioning templates and I was just there looking at them wondering how bad is my presentation going to look?
When I finally got to the front to present I looked up – everyone was staring at me wondering, what’s this little Indian girl got? I looked down and said to myself, "Just be yourself", looked up and started. "Hi guys, I'm sure none of you knew India even played rugby before you met me, right?" Everyone burst out laughing and that released all the tension.
I presented my plan and everything went off well. Not just that, but I also had most of my classmates coming up to me and telling me that they really liked my plan. This one coach said, "You were so simple and logical, that you could teach me biology with your style." Then my lecturer came up to me and said, "Did I tell you how amazing you were up there? I loved your plan!"
I thought to myself - THIS is precisely what I came so far for.
This was the highlight of the year I guess, apart from the fact that I got the opportunity to train with the Auckland Rugby Team, tackle a few of The Black Ferns and play a practice match with The Ferns’ captain leading our team! And yes, getting selected for the Auckland Thunder women’s development squad too, although I later got kicked out. But that does not matter because I have learnt SO many new things, not just in sports science but many other things as well, most importantly time management and self organisation.
So what’s next for me?
I have developed a keen interest in strength and conditioning but badly need work experience. So, I am trying to get into Auckland Rugby or somewhere else. I'm searching for a mentor with whom I can tag along for sessions, help out and learn from in the process. Hopefully this will open up new opportunities for me.
At the same time, I need to have some sort of stable income so I will look for part time jobs. I am already working as a casual fitness instructor at the AUT South Gym but that's not enough.
If you look at my plan, it's nothing concrete. I'm just following my heart like I always have and I hope it leads me to a good place. The things on my mind at the moment are
- work experience
- playing and learning more rugby and
- going back to India and working with a team/teams.
That sounds like a plan maybe?
I know I'm going to go through some ups and downs in the next couple of months. I actually don't even know what I'm going to go through. Sounds scary, but you know what, I keep thinking of a day when I am back in India, sitting in my room and regretting, saying to myself – had I tried a bit harder I could've been in NZ right now still honing my skills. At least if I give it a shot, and then fail, I will not regret anything.
That's it from my side for now. Will keep you updated as I go on.
About the contributors
Surabhi is a former captain of the Indian Women's National Rugby Team and has been studying at AUT for a Postgraduate Diploma in Sport and Exercise. She is the recipient of a sports scholarship and aims to help Indian athletes enhance performance. A highlight of her study in New Zealand has been the lecturers, “Study here is more independent than in India. Your lecturer tells you where to look for the answers but they won’t spoon-feed the knowledge to you.”