Tennis- Wellness

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I have been playing tennis for almost three years and from 9th grade, I joined the tennis team at school. In 9th grade, I was part of the Junior varsity team playing singles three and sometimes doubles one. In 10 grade I was doubles one for the Varsity team. In 9th grade, I was not able to participate in any big tournaments that were held at school as I wasn’t confident with my tennis skills to participate. However, in 10th grade, I was able to participate in the Kanto tennis tournament held at ASIJ. This tournament is where most of the international schools in the Kanto part of Japan get together and have a tournament. In this tournament, I was able to get to the quarterfinals of the consolidation. I was not able to get an award for this tournament but I was still proud of the place I ended in as it was the very first tournament I attended for only tennis after playing for three years. Through this tournament, I was able to learn how to keep my sports psychology strong with my partner. During the first few games of this tournament, I was not sure how to play my best everytime I lost a score. Therefore, I kept putting myself down and stressing myself out which made it even harder for me and my partner to keep playing the best we can. However, throughout the end of this tournament, I learned how to keep my emotions together when I lost a game. I learned to not mind the score but to learn from the mistake and to keep improving myself bit by bit after each point. I also learned how to work as a team to play doubles as this was the first time I played doubles in tennis. Through playing doubles tennis I was able to make new friends and create a new bond with people that I would rarely talk to. I was also able to make friends from different schools. This allowed me to improve my social skills as I am not good at talking to people that I am not comfortable with or know well.

In the local tennis club, I take lessons once every week for about two hours for the past 3 years. In the local tennis club, we learn specific tennis techniques whereas in the school tennis team we learn how to be more positive when we lose a game or how to come up with a game plan when we are playing. In the local tennis club I learn techniques such as how to smash, volley, receive slice balls and many more. With the regular physical training, I am able to keep my body muscles trained even when the tennis season is over at school. Going to this local tennis lessons is now a part of my schedule. I believe that these regular tennis lessons are helping me to stay fit as without the lessons I would not be getting the physical training that I need for living the daily life. This is because before I started tennis the only sport that I did not do any sports outside of school. Therefore, some parts of my muscles started to weaken and hurt. However, now with the regular training I can feel my weakened muscles becoming strong as my body isn’t hurting as much as it used to. Also, the regular lessons are one of the ways that help me to reduce stress. While playing tennis I forget about all the homework and the assessments that I have to do as I am focusing only on playing tennis which allows me to freshen up as I enjoy doing exercises. Even when I can’t play well enough it gives me the motivation to try better rather than feeling down. This feeling continues after my tennis lessons which allow me to perform better in my daily life as I am more motivated.

 

GCD: Personal Goal

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I have been worried about my families health as my parents were getting sick and tired more easily and often than they used to. I was wondering what caused them to feel in that certain way and realized that it was because of the amount of the sleep that they get. This is why for my personal project I decided to research about why sleep is important and what is causing some people to not sleep well. However, this goal was hard for me to achieve at first as I did not any scientific knowledge on the topic of sleep. Therefore, I decided to do some research on the basics of what makes the human brain go to sleep. After learning the basics of sleep and our brain I read a book called “The Sleep Revolution” by Arianna Huffington to learn about what sleep deprivation is and the issues with it. The book was the most useful research done as it had the most information about the non-scientific part of sleep deprivation. For example, it talked about incidents that happened to a sleep-deprived person in detail. The research part helped me to achieve the very first step of making my parent’s health better. Down below is a photo of some of the research that I did. 

The planning process was very important as it was the stage where I organized the ideas and the things I had to do in order to reach my final goal. In this stage, I made an action plan to make sure that I do not forget the things I need to do. Down below is a photo of my action plan.

Here is a sample of some of the writing I did.

 

My global context for the personal project was identity and relationship. The global context explanation states that it focuses on “personal, physical, mental, social… human relationships…”. I was focusing on changing the way people think about sleep and also, spreading awareness of the effects of sleep deprivation mentally and physically so that people could have a better relationship with themself and with the people around them.

While researching I had to evaluate the sources that I used. By doing the annotated bibliography, I was able to think before if the source was reliable or useful before using the information. Every time I found a reference I made sure to look at the author and made sure they were written or proofread by experts. For example, while I was looking at the source “The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body.” I had to search up about the author Deborah Weatherspoon and found out that she has a PhD.

I made a success criteria(appendix I) and it had four parts to it which all of them focused on the outcome and how successful it will be. The success criteria made sure that I made a successful product as the success criteria worked as a checklist for me even while I was researching. It helped my product keep the focus on my final goal and not on other unnecessary things as I was able to refer back to the criterias when I was not sure what to write about. The first success criteria is about the function. This was challenging for me as I sometimes go off track and forget my main goal  The second success criteria is about the audience. This was a challenge for me as my audience was my parents but there was a language barrear as they can’t speak or read English and I can’t write in korean. The third success criteria is about aesthetics. This was challenging as I am not a creative person so I always struggle in trying to make something that is attractive for people to want to read or look at. In order to make a attractive booklet I had to ask for help from people around me such as the art students to gave me feedback on the work I made so that I could keep improving. The last success criteria is about context. This was challenging as the context had to be in depth in order to change the way people think about sleep.   

When reflecting on my final product I noticed that there were a few thing that I was successful at and some that I could improve to spread awareness of sleep deprivation better. I also noticed that there were some learning that I was able to do and not do. This is why I have written a reflection of my product.  

The successful part of my final product is that I was able to change my main audience about the way he thought and acted about sleep. My dad used to think that sleep was unnecessary and time consuming. However, after reading my booklet and listening to my explanation, his actions changed. For example, he used to take sleeping pills but he stopped and now has a sleep cycle to get better sleep. My product was also successful as it helped me to meet my goal. I was able to inform people about what sleep deprivation is and those people were also spreading the word about how important sleep is to people around them which lead to more people having a more positive thought about sleep.    

I could improve my final product by thinking about what would be the easiest way for people to understand and remember all the information. This is because I felt like people were reading my booklet and understanding but not remembering the details of my booklet for a long period of time. Next time I would like to make a booklet that has a stronger impact on people so that they could remember it more easily.  

While making my final product I was successful at using thinking, organization, transfer skills. I used thinking skills more specifically my creative thinking skills as I had to think of a unique and interesting design throughout the whole booklet that would make the audience want to read about sleep deprivation. I used my thinking skills when I was researching. While researching I had to evaluate each source to make sure that they are a reliable source that I could use the data in my booklet to inform people (Appendix D). Organizational skill was something that was needed in order to make a booklet that was in depth. Throughout the whole project I was using my time effectively to do in depth research about sleep deprivation. To use my time effectively I had to come up with a way to organize my time therefore, I wrote it down like a checklist in small steps so that I could easily follow along (appendix D). I also had to find a way to keep track of the research I did. During the first week of the project I was struggling to keep all the data together because I was not recording them down and kept forgetting what each cite was talking about. Therefore, after the first week I decided to summarize what each cite talked about. I was also successful with my transfer skills. This is because I was able to transfer the organization skills that I have learned while making my research log. I was having a hard time trying to organize my research notes in science. However, I was able to use the knowledge that I gained from organizing my research log.

Through this project I was able to improve ATL skills. In particular I was able to improve thinking, research, self management skills. During the project I had to do some deep research about sleep deprivation starting off with no knowledge about the topic. By having to do deep research it made me think about how to ask the question on the internet or to use other resources rather than the interest such as books. Before doing this project I was not good at organizing myself to finish school projects as I would be all over the place when trying to write something as I would not plan what I had to do beforehand. This project has helped me to practise self management skills as if I was not organizing myself well enough I would not make the best final product that I would like to produce. I was able to transfer these skills to my school projects. For instance, in appendix C I talk about how while I was doing a school project I was able to notice the improvement in the self management skill as I am using my time more effectively and not messy as I planned beforehand all the things that I had to do.

 

Through this project  I was able to improve my learner profile skills. In particular I was able to improve my thinking, communication skills. I improved my thinking skills thought the research I did. I improved my communication skill when having mentor meetings. The first mentor meeting, I was not able to communicate  my ideas well enough. However, through more meetings I was able to learn how to communicate my ideas and thoughts about my project more effectively by preparing the night before by reading the mentor meeting description and thinking about what I want to say. This helped make my product better as my mentor understood what my intentions were in making the booklet and helped me develop my idea.   

 

Through this project I think that I was able to gain new knowledge about my topic. This was a challenging goal for me as I had no prior knowledge on the topic of sleep in both scientific and non scientific way. The research process has taught me to do more in depth and through research which helped me to improve as a learner as I was able to use the things learned in my school work to improve my work. Without the research and planning process I would not have achieved my goal as I would not have know where to start or how to go about the project.   

Blood Doping

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There is a lot of issues around blood doping for athletes. Blood doping according to WebMD is the injection of oxygenated blood into a person. This can be used for medical uses or for athletes who use a great amount of oxygen such as cyclists, marathon runners ECT to enhances their performance. Some people are arguing that if every athlete was allowed to blood dope before their tournaments it would not cause any ethical problems. I believe that blood doping should keep being illegal as it could be the start of addiction such as drugs to enhance their performance more. It also creates more long-term health problems for the athletes.     

There are two types of blood doping that athletes do to enhance their performance. The first type is autologous transfusion. This is when the athlete freezes their own blood for later uses. Then the body thinks that it has lost some of the blood and produces new blood. Afterward, the old blood is put back into the body. With more blood in the body, it has more red blood cells to keep oxygen which allows aerobic respiration to be done longer. The second type of blood doping is injection of erythropoietin (EPO). Erythropoietin is a hormone that is created in the kidney. This hormone advances the development of red blood cells through the bone marrow. This diagram shows how EPO works. Athletes use more EPO rather than autologous transfusion as the effect is more effective.

Image result for how blood doping works

Blood doping is a dangerous thing to do. It creates a lot of health risk issues as blood doping thickens the blood in our body which is dangerous when our heart rate slows down such as when sleeping. The thick blood can lead to high risk of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks ETC. As you can see most of these risks can lead athletes to death. It has been found that for the past 25 years 20 cyclists have died due to blood doping(Jideonwo).  

Despite the death risk why are athletes breaking the rule? This is because like I have mentioned, it enhances the athlete’s performances by a great amount. This has been proven through an experiment done by LancetTV. Some athletes received one EPO shoots every week and the others got nothing for 8 weeks. There was a test called maximal exercise test(MET) leading the athletes to exhaustion done. This test was done before the injection and every two weeks during the treatment period. The first week both groups had similar results for the MET. However, from the second week the difference started to show in favour of the EPO group which persisted throughout the whole experiment(Just like the graph below).

Is blood doping ethical for athletes? The American College of Sports Medicine(ACSM) has brought up the issue of the use of blood doping and said “Blood doping for athletes are unethical, unfair, and exposes the athlete to unwarranted and potentially serious health risks…”  Also, Mario Cazzola, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Haematologica said “As physicians, one of our major duties is to prevent diseases. Since blood doping exposes athletes to several medical risks, we must be against blood doping. Blood doping is not an abstract, intellectual challenge on how to circumvent sports regulations licitly. Sport is intended to improve people’s health, blood doping worsens it.”

However, on the other hand, there are people like Bennett Foddy, Bioethics at Princeton University who said “ Playing sport at an elite level is not suicide, but neither is blood doping. Athletes have health issues every year or so. To reduce the number of health issues that athletes face blood doping is one way to reduce them. Blood doping does not affect the athletes as much as other health issues.

In conclusion, after looking at both pros and cons of blood doping I still believe that it should be banned for athletes to use to enhance performance for a tournament as it could lead the athletes to long-term health issues as well as death.