School Grades Do Not Define Your Capability. Your Experiences Do.

Today’s post is going to be about me ranting about school, not because I do not study hard, (I do, just that time is not always on my side) but it’s because I got caught up with quite a ridiculous problem, and I will share it with you:

As you all know, I was away for about 4 weeks for a training trip in Japan followed by Asian Games for the past month. Fortunately for me I was granted an official approved Leave of Absence (LOA) from the school, which means I wouldn’t be penalized for any missing attendance in school. But of course lessons still go on and I would have to self study when I am away.

One of the assignment requirements for my Coaching subject was to write a weekly diary of our first hand experiences during the activity; say for example a rugby game, I am strong in my passes but weak in my catching and dodging skills, all those experiences go in the diary. We had a total of 6 diary entries to complete as there were 6 classes in total. However I was away for 4 of those classes which only allowed me to experience 2 classes in total.

So since I only experience 2 classes, I technically can only give my first hand experience for the 2 classes that I attended, right? So I clarified with my teacher and he said that I had to write 6 diary entries as well.

“Everyone else has written 6, so it is only fair that you write 6.” He explained. But the real question is, did anyone else go overseas or were they in class experiencing the coaching session? How do you expect me to write a personal reflection on something that I did not attend?

He understood where I was coming from and gave me a choice to write 2 diary entries, but he added that it was ultimately your choice, because everyone has written 6. So obviously I had to suck it up and write 6 entries although I did not attend most of them.

So it’s pretty simple, all I have to do is to pretend that I was in 6 of those coaching classes, and visualize myself playing various sports and try to figure out my strengths and weaknesses in those sports, just by pure imagination and visualization. Well I took it with a positive mindset, because we learnt imagery in Psychology,  so I could try to put them to good use!

Frankly speaking if it was that simple, then I guess most world class swimmers have been training wrongly, and I have been training wrongly for 16 years of my career. Instead of waking up at 4:50am every morning for training, I should actually just stay in bed to visualize my training set for the day, and imagine every stroke of my swimming in bed. Through that intense visualization I should also look out for my strengths and weaknesses I face while I am in deep thoughts…. On my bed of course. All I need to do is to stay focus and not to fall asleep! How awesome is that?

I finished my coaching diary and handed it up to the teacher, there was a real sense of accomplishment when I completed it to be honest. I actually managed to write a personal reflection based on lessons that I did not attend!

And so the results came back and many people were unhappy with what they got, including me. I almost choked upon seeing my results. (It is really bad so I shall not disclose it haha) My teacher talked to me and told me this was “sub standard work”  and my question for him was, “how are you able to produce a Grade A personal diary without even attending lessons?” and all he could say was he understood where I was coming from, but there was nothing that he could do about it. Nothing… Really? Sorry to break it to you guys, but my assignment result clearly shows that pure visualization does not give you good marks, it still requires a lot of hard work and discipline to do so.

To me, I always like to see the positive side of negative things. Though I may not have gotten good results this time, but I am happy to say that this experience has clearly proved that the motto that I live by “Hard Work Pays Off” is still the way to go! Glad I have been training correctly for the past 16 years of my swimming career. 🙂

For a moment I actually thought I found a new method to train elite swimmers in the future… Guess I was wrong haha.  

Jokes aside – With all that said, all I know is that 10 years down the road if I were to look back at everything, I would gladly say that I have no regrets compromising my assignment marks to do my country proud. I have experienced the things in life that I always wanted to experience, and doing my country proud was always my dream ever since I was a kid.

I can proudly say that I have lived life the way I wanted to and that is all that matters; because honestly, I would rather live life doing the things I love to do rather than regretting on the things that I should have done when I grow older.

And all in all, these grades DO NOT define who I am, my experiences do.

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Hard Work Pays Off

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2 Replies to “School Grades Do Not Define Your Capability. Your Experiences Do.”

  1. Hi, I can say that grades can only take you so far in life, but what takes you further are the experiences you have in your life and what you get out of it, even if it isn’t a pleasant one. Everyone is unique and definitely, each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses.
    Not everyone fits into the same system (in this case, grades), so I don’t think it can define who we are. Truly, the experiences in life, what we do best, what we are passionate about, that is where we show who we truly are.
    For me, what and where I am today, it is something that my grades do not reflect.

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