Jules Schwalger-Smith

'What drew me to the Sport Coaching degree at UC was that it was a degree specialising in exactly what I needed...'

  • Jules Schwalger-Smith

(Ngāi Tahu)

Bachelor of Sport Coaching

For a lot of people getting involved in sports is a fun way to stay connected and to provide a much appreciated helping hand to a local organisation or team. However, Jules’ aspirations as a basketball coach go far beyond just involvement. His single-minded determination to make a career as an influential coach has seen him not only graduate with a Sport Coaching degree but also gain a scholarship to study in the USA at a master’s level.

‘Ever since I finished high school I knew I wanted to coach Basketball. I didn’t want to be your average coach who had a 9-to-5 job and coached in the weekend. I wanted this to be my career; I wanted to be great,’ he says.

To map out his career path, Jules started by looking at jobs he wanted, particularly in the US and identified the skills he had. He then got to work to plug the gaps, one of which brought him to UC to begin his studies.

‘I did some research into what it took to apply for coaching jobs in the States. All job applications required a master’s degree with PhD preferred so I knew I had to hit the books. What drew me to the Sport Coaching degree at UC was that it was a degree specialising in exactly what I needed. Coaching and being so close to home it felt like a perfect fit.’

Jules says that his decision to study at UC proved to be the right one. The support and expertise vitalised and challenged him, something he loved and responded to.

‘Being challenged every day was what I enjoyed the most. Hearing new ideas and new methods made me see coaching from a different light. It shifted my way of thinking to a new-age approach to coaching, an athlete-centred approach where athletes play a large part in the learning process.’ 

With his Graduate Assistantship Scholarship to study at Indiana State University Jules is progressing his learning, taking him even closer to his ultimate goal of professional basketball coaching.

‘This Assistantship will allow me to study my master’s degree in Coaching and allows me to teach a 100 level paper at ISU (P.E 101), a paper designed to keep students active. The last part of this Assistantship allows me to become an Assistant Coach at a local university Basketball team. This team is Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a team that is part of the NCAA and competes for the division 3 title.’

When asked what advice he would give others, Jules advises to follow your passion.

‘I believe that if you do what you love you will never work a day in your life! If coaching is what you love then go for it! The lecturers at UC are there to mentor you, to challenge you and to help you be the best you want to be,’ he says.

Arran Hodge

Arran Hodge

'Working with players and coaches that I have grown up idolising is a truly awesome experience...'

Reuben koorey

Reuben Koorey

"Don’t be shy – most of the lecturers are very approachable and willing to help you. I like the people I met in class, everyone is pretty easy going and a good laugh."