I chose to study Sport Science, Coaching and Physical Education (SCAPE) at Loughborough University as it offers a good combination of sport science and coaching/pedagogy content, allowing me to develop a holistic skillset relevant to the sport industry.

I found the module on Performance Analysis to be the most enjoyable and useful. The expertise of academics and guest speakers, as well as the opportunity to observe elite-level coaches provided clear insight into the profession.

Volunteering with the University’s Coach and Volunteer Academy gave me the chance to undertake work in analysis during my undergraduate degree and the experience was priceless. I got to work with many great coaches and practitioners, and I learned so much from my mistakes and feedback from my colleagues. Guest sessions and masterclasses also gave me the chance to learn from experts and build professional connections.

Junyi Dai

These opportunities inspired me to inspired progress onto the MSc in Applied Sport Performance Analysis, with the aim of becoming a full-time performance analyst in professional football after graduating.

As part of my MSc, I am currently on placement at Peterborough United Football Club as an academy performance analyst, working predominantly with the professional development phase squads (U23s and U18s).

It is a great opportunity to apply the knowledge I learned and skillsets I built at Loughborough into the real world and get feedback from coaches and senior analysts. It also allows me to reflect on my learning and push my professional development onto a new level.

Student standing outside Peterborough Football Club Sign

The advice I would give to anyone thinking of studying on the SCAPE degree is don’t be shy. It takes quite a bit of courage to step up and coach your peers or some school-age children.

It can also be challenging to accept constructive criticism from lecturers and peers and reflect on your own performance, especially after making mistakes. But this is an important part of the learning curve and will help you becoming a better practitioner.

For students who want to progress onto my MSc course, whether they are studying SCAPE or not, I would suggest that it is definitely worth utilizing the resources and opportunities that Loughborough provides to build a solid vocational foundation and expand your professional network. Internal recommendations will play a massive part in securing placement roles within the industry.

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