Performance Lifestyle

  • Service Overview
  • Educational Choices
  • Personal Statement

Introduction

 Sam Weale

What is Performance Lifestyle?

Performance Lifestyle is a support service for high achieving athletes who want to successfully integrate all aspects of their lives with compromising their sporting goals. With many of you on the WC Pathway being at school, college or university you'll be all too aware that managing your studies with a five discipline sport can sometimes be very challenging. Furthermore, when one aspect of your life is not going so well, the pressure you're under can have a negative impact on other aspects of your life.

How can Performance Lifestyle help you?

Performance Lifestyle is delivered mainly an individualised support service specifically designed to help you become more effective at managing your commitments. By understanding what your goals are in life, the support you receive will help you to develop the skills necessary to support your success and provide you with appropriate information to make more informed decisions. From a WC Pathway programme perspective the support you receive may be in the form of negotiation with your school or college to move assignment deadlines or exams to more convenient times or locations. Other scenarios where support is often provided is in making the right course choices for university, writing your UCAS application and personal statement, and making the right contacts to support your application. Other common areas of support are provided through financial advice (grants, loans, scholarships, bursaries, sponsorship, athlete personal awards etc) plus the area of time management - that doesn't just mean owning a diary!

How do you access Performance Lifestyle support?

You would always be encouraged you to talk through any immediate concerns with your coach or relevant contact at Pentathlon GB whether it is Bernie Moss or Stuart Mason and they would in turn refer you to the EIS. However, you are also welcome to contact the EIS directly. In this instance, wherever you are based in the country, all requests should come to the EIS Office in Bath. We will then either provide you with the relevant support or will refer you to the EIS Athlete Support Manager in your training region.

You can contact EIS Bath on 0870 759 0574

Educational Choices

Plotting a course for your future

Thumbing through University prospectuses and toying with the idea of starting that UCAS form, or deciding which of your offers to take up after having already applied? With some of you facing the prospect of your first AS exams and others looking ahead to your As and others maybe completing units of BTEC or HND courses, your attentions may well have turned to such matters. Choosing a course and where to study can often be a confusing process, so this short article will hopefully give you more of an insight into making the right choices for you and your sport.

The main reasons for students dropping out of courses include: the wrong course choice, a lack of money, unsatisfactory location and social environment, and the inability to cope with the combination of their life's demands. Consequently, it is important you make the right choice that addresses all these issues, plus importantly for you, a choice that will enable you to progress in your sport. In order to get you started, here are a few pointers that may be useful:

  • Speak to your coach and/or contact Pentathlon GB. They may have key information on where to receive the best technical coaching and facilities (i.e. Bath, Hartpury) and hence define an area in which to study.
  • Think carefully about a course that would compliment your academic strengths and interests. If you're having trouble deciding, go online to UCAS and complete the Stamford Test. This certainly won’t give you all the answers but complete it with an open mind and simply ask why the test has suggested certain courses. They may point you in the right direction.
  • Other course information can be found @:
  • Look at the QAA rating for courses on the UCAS website. This will give you an objective rating of the course and teaching quality (21 or above is excellent).
  • Organise some relevant work experience if your time permits, it always looks great on applications and future CVs. If not, identify companies that may be of interest to you and ask their HR departments what qualifications they look for.
  • Visit Universities of interest and get a feel for both the campus and the town/city. Ideally speak to another athlete who has studied at the University before. Remember, as an athlete, the availability of peaceful accommodation and nutritious food is more important to know than the price of a pint!
  • Contact the Director of Sport or the Course Admissions tutor to discuss the possibilities of flexible study and the opportunities, such as scholarships, available to an elite athlete studying at their institution. Being proactive and displaying forward thinking can ultimately be very effective in progressing your application.
  • Explore the possibilities of flexible entry requirements but treat these with caution - these have been set for a reason so make sure you could cope with the demands of a challenging course.
  • Find out more about financing your education and experiencing general student life @:
  • Check out www.ucas.com/getting/deadlines/index.html for the forthcoming UCAS deadlines.

Personal Statements

Making a Personal Statement

With the increasing quantity of students now applying to University with ever improving A level grades [or equivalent], it is becoming more difficult for Universities to objectively separate students' applications on merit. Therefore, your personal statement takes on even greater significance especially as this is often your only contact with the admissions tutor before receiving an offer, or not. Consequently, here are some tips to get you started:

  • Start with your motivations in applying for your proposed course of study. In explaining why you want to study the subject, perhaps include:
    • Your favoured areas of study up to now and how these have motivated or inspired you to study them further in higher education. For example, you could reference books, journals or research you have undertaken as part of your AS/A2 levels.
    • Relevant work [and other] experiences that may have contributed to your understanding and consequent interest and enthusiasm for the subject.
    • What you hope to learn during the degree and how this will help you achieve your future aspirations.
  • You can then explain your own personal experiences, which gives you (more than most students) the opportunity to highlight your sporting prowess. However, while it's good to summarise your main successes, don't simply reel off a chronological list if achievements. Therefore,
  • Think of what you've learnt through sport and how this has contributed to your personal development, i.e. what transferable skills have you learnt? (see below)
  • These could include effectivetime management, prioritisation, teamwork, dedication, responsibility (i.e. representing your country or being awarded captaincy) etc.
  • Whether the admissions tutor is interested in sport or not, commendable personal characteristics such as the above will make you the type of well rounded, independent, organised and enthusiastic student that they are after.
  • Most Universities are keen to know what you think you might add to their University. Your sporting status obviously speaks for itself but if you have coached or contributed anything else in a wider context then it's definitely worth mentioning.
  • Finally, explain anything else about yourself that you might think would further illustrate your character and/or suitability to study the courses being applied for. Remember whilst your sporting excellence is a great personal accolade, it is an academic programme that you are applying for.
  • Definite Don'ts

    • Don't start every sentence with "I".
    • Don't try to be funny.
    • Don't waffle.
    • Don't use unnatural or pretentious language.
    • Don't oversell yourself; no-one likes a big head!

    Definite Dos

    • Convey motivation and enthusiasm for the course.
    • Try to sound like yourself and not as if you're writing by numbers.
    • Use continuous prose but be concise.
    • Include 70%-80% of directly relevant information, i.e. academic and personal suitability.
    • Check spelling, grammatical errors and readability, then check it again.
    • Give it to teachers, family or friends to check and then check it once more!
    • And finally, you can call EIS on 0870 759 0574. Good luck!