Solving The Problems
I have been described as a scientist, an academic, an applied researcher and to be honest I find that very humbling, as quite frankly I used to loath learning and education. As far as I was concerned as a 15/16 year old I was going to be either a professional footballer or GB athlete, I didn’t need education. I was reasonably quick and used that to my advantage on the pitch and the track. I was part of the Great Britain Athletics Academy and was having football trails at various professional clubs. However, tearing my hamstring three times in three months put a stop to that. Suddenly, I was not able to run past defenders easily, maintain a sprinting session or improve on my event times. I was working in Morrisons Pie Shop with an average education and not sure where to go.
I got a lucky break one day through a conversation that there would be a job opportunity at a college, should I pass the personal training course I was on. I did just that and got the bug for learning and teaching. It may have been luck that initiated this path I have been on, but since getting the opportunity I have grabbed it with both hands. I went on to complete a BSc Applied Sport Science and teaching qualifications. I have basically channelled all of the transferable skills I have gained from sport into now becoming the best educator I can be and that has always lead me to learning new things.
I have gone on to complete my MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology and Primary Practitioner in Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy. In addition, I am now into the third year of a PhD investigating the underlying mechanisms of decision making and in the process of submitting a number of research papers. This is some progress for someone who didn’t like learning and education.
So I am Lee Waters, a senior lecturer of Sport and Exercise Psychology, a Performance Psychologist and extremely interested in finding out what are peoples whys. Why did the footballer decide to make the tackle when they did? Why did the tennis player choose to execute a forehand down the line? Why does an archer lose accuracy as the tournament progresses? Why does a basketballers success in their free throws decrease in the fourth quatre of a tight game?
I focus primarily on understanding decision making, unpacking what this means in different sporting situations from holistic perspectives and then training it. Through my experience with elite sports, I recognise the importance of Improving individual’s decision making and finding the most efficient and innovative methods to ensure this occurs. My methods are not conventional and do go against some traditional trains of thought, but I honestly believe by focusing on decision making with a more open mind could be game changer in so many sports.