Date of Graduation

5-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor/Mentor

Michelle Gray

Committee Member/Reader

Amanda Sullivan

Abstract

Introduction: An experience abroad can help a person grow in confidence and knowledge and allow them to immerse themselves in a new culture. During my time in Valencia, Spain, I was able to work at a youth basketball club, CB L’Horta Godella, alongside the club’s strength and conditioning coaches and the physical therapist and be a coach for the young athletes. The fact that I lived with a Spanish family and had an open mindset towards making friends and exploring new things allowed me to grow closer to the culture in Spain. By using my knowledge and passion for sports and my desire to want to become a physical therapist I was able to grow as a person during my eight weeks abroad. Internship: My internship provided the main research for me as I was able to explore my job tasks deeper in order to show the importance of coaches and trainers. I ran exercise sessions for teams both by myself and with the strength and conditioning coaches. We also conducted testing on the athletes to help determine their off-season workout plans. By comparing these tests with supporting literature, I was able to see how the role of the strength and conditioning coach truly shapes the athlete. With the physical therapist, I shadowed as she assessed injuries, had some hands-on experience, and talked through treatment plans. Again, I compared my work with her with some supporting literature and back to the work done with the strength coaches to prove that the physical therapist also plays a critical role to athletes. Finally, I was the coach for the youngest athletes at the summer basketball camp. Each day, I would teach them basic skills, play games, have fun, and try to teach them of all of the positives that sports can bring. I was motivated by certain life and coaching books that helped me show a different side of coaching. In the end, it was the kids that made my whole experience. Conclusion: During my time in Valencia, I grew in confidence, found new ways to communicate, and gained knowledge from my job and of a new culture. My internship was a perfect combination of all of my passions, and it opened my eyes to the importance of coaching. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience and something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Word Count: 399

Keywords

Basketball, Study Abroad, Youth Sports, Coaching, Physical Therapy, Strength and Conditioning

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