WEEK #23: NERISSA JAMES
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been involved in sports as long as I can remember. Without it I don’t think that I would be who I am today. Because of the positive impact sport has had on my life, I continue to participate in a variety of sports such as volleyball, basketball and taekwondo. Each year I challenge myself to get involved in a new sport, last year it was dragon boat racing and the year before it was learning to swim.
I’ve worked as an English teacher in South Korea and as a Programs Coordinator / Coach at various sports organizations in Canada. As an English teacher I developed a sports curriculum to teach children English in a fun exciting active way. As a Programs Coordinator / Coach I designed, developed and implemented sport programs for children of all ages.
I currently work at MLSE Launchpad as a Sport Program Lead, where I coach programs for youth and young adults. Where I share my passion for sports with them, hoping that they can benefit from the positive impact of sports the same way I did.
I’m a true believer in the growth mindset; I’m always looking for ways to improve my coaching. I’m constantly updating my coaching skills by taking various courses with the National Coaching Certificate Program. I’m also involved with the Ontario Coaches Association program called “Changing the Game – Changing the Conversation” which is working towards supporting and developing women as coaches. Through this program, I took on a volunteer position as an Assistant coach with Leaside Volleyballs 13-year-old girls team, where I enjoy every moment of sharing my knowledge and my passion for Volleyball. I’m also an Official for Ontario’s Volleyball Association, which I believe is another form of sharing and teaching the rules of sports to athletes.
Please share a story about an internal or external barrier you have faced? How did you overcome that barrier?
An external/internal barrier I’ve had to face is blocking out what others expect what I should do or where I should be in my life. Sometimes that pressure can be a lot when it’s coming from so many different directions. Especially when it comes from those who you think should have your back. The way that I overcame that barrier is that a couple of years ago I decided that I have to focus on what makes me happy, what makes me smile, what makes me want to get up in the morning. Sometimes the hardest time in your life is to go through a transition from one version to another version of yourself. When I decided to do that it brought me full circle back to my passion of coaching.
What skills did you develop in sport that helped you overcome your barrier?