University of Calgary

Kinesiology and Education grad a team player in the classroom, on the ice

UToday HomeJune 12, 2013

By Clayton MacGillivray

Brock Nixon will graduate with a joint degree in Education and Kinesiology. Nixon, captain of the University of Calgary Dinos men’s hockey team, acknowledges the flexibility of coaches, teachers, and university staff in helping him meet his obligations. Photo courtesy of Dinos Athletics.Brock Nixon will graduate with a joint degree in Education and Kinesiology. Nixon, captain of the University of Calgary Dinos men’s hockey team, acknowledges the flexibility of coaches, teachers, and university staff in helping him meet his obligations. Photo courtesy of Dinos AthleticsBrock Nixon sees no difference between captaining the University of Calgary Dinos men’s hockey team and teaching. For Nixon, it’s all about teamwork.

“Hockey and teaching have major parallels, the biggest being the ability to work as a team. In schools, you must be able to function as a member of the staff which calls for leadership, communication, mutual respect and compromise. These elements are key for any successful sports team too, especially a hockey team as we have a large roster and the intensity of the game brings up a lot of emotional conversations and conflicts.”

Keeping with the theme of teamwork, Nixon acknowledges that he could not have completed a joint degree in Education and Kinesiology without a lot of support.

“Balancing academics and sports at the university level is a challenge for all student athletes. I think being in education provides a larger challenge as the student teaching practicums require a full-time commitment. Through flexibility of coaches, teachers, and university staff, I was able to make it work and have fulfilled commitments to my team and the Faculty of Education.”

Not only did Nixon fulfill his commitments, he surpassed them by leading the Dinos in a Canada West semifinal matchup against the Alberta Golden Bears, receiving an invitation to participate in a training camp scrimmage with the Calgary Flames, being named a Canada West Second Team All-Star, and getting signed by the Colorado Eagles, the minor league affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets.

Ever the leader, Nixon has some words of wisdom for students pursuing an Education degree while playing for the Dinos.

“My advice would be to make sure your time management skills are in order, and to be very open with university staff and practicum staff. There will be games and tournaments where you will build up absences that cannot be avoided, but by planning ahead and being flexible it can be worked out.”

So what is next for the forward?

“I will eventually use my degree and embark on a career as a high school physical education teacher. However, I am pursuing a professional hockey career right now and have signed a contract to play in Sweden next year.”

“Having a degree allows me to now fully focus on hockey, and whenever I am ready to hang up my skates, I have a degree to fall back on.”

When that time comes, most any school would surely welcome Nixon to their team of teachers.

 

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