Physical Performance Coach at Strømsgodset TF
A few key lecturers at Leeds Trinity saw something in me that I didn't see in myself and really supported my development.
My breakthrough in to professional football
In my first year at Leeds Trinity I did a six week placement. I fully utilised the experience and built really positive relations with my co-workers. I helped one colleague by taking part in his practical interview. I continued to work with him after my placement which involved me volunteering with him at Bradford Football Club. He offered me a great deal of support, giving me constructive criticism, and he even let me lead some of the sessions.
I had to stop volunteering so that I could really focus on my third year studies. I still kept in contact with him and he suggested I apply for a job at his current place of employment, which turned out to be Burnley Football Club. I worked there from June 2016 to October 2017. You can find out more about Aarons time at Burnley Football Club here.
In October 2017 I began my career at Leeds United Football Club as Academy Sports Scientist. In February 2020 I took the opportunity in Norway to be the first team Physical performance Coach for Strømsgodset TF (Professional Football Club).
For me, it was seeing the first batch of players awarded scholarships. It would have happened regardless, but to see their delight and sense of accomplishment just makes it so rewarding and a huge pleasure to be a part of.
How my time at Leeds Trinity prepared me for my career
A few key lecturers at Leeds Trinity saw something in me that I didn't see in myself and really supported my development. They pushed me to do certain things that at the time I didn't always see the value in. But after applying these new skills I can see how important they were. It doesn't always make sense at the time but with the value of hindsight I understand the importance of learning new things that are often out of my comfort zone.
That would have to be in my first year going down to the Students' Union on Saturdays with the lads and watching sport. I initially went down there with a guy I didn't even know, four years on I still live with him and most of the people from that moment.
My advice for students
First and foremost, I would say don't think this advice is coming from someone perfect because I am very far from perfect, I'm fully aware of that.
Not every opportunity will be the right one for you and you need to decide what's right for you at any given time. You're going to make mistakes, that's just fact, but you're going to learn from those mistakes. It's continuously going to be a balance of making mistakes and then growing as an individual to do the right thing.
There is no perfect moment to do something so just do it knowing it's going to be for your benefit. Time doesn't stand still for anyone, so make sure you aren't waiting for that "perfect moment" because it doesn't exist. I didn't really focus fully until my final year but I got there in the end. If you can apply yourself fully and plan your time effectively I strongly believe your university experience will take care of itself.