Fratton Park stadium

Key Stage 3–4 video

Help students adjust to difficult situations, boost their resilience, and explore future pathways

Adapting to change

Flexibility to current and future changes are important skills to develop – and particularly relevant in today's world.

In this video, Portsmouth Football Club discuss their change in mindset, encouraging students to be adaptable, and think about their own resilience and future pathways.

They talk about some of the challenging situations they've faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, how they've adapted personally to the circumstances, their work with the community and how students can turn their experiences into positives to help them with their next steps.

Portsmouth Football Club | Adapting to Change | Talk

Adapting to change and difficult situations

Featuring Portsmouth Football Club players as well as the CEO and Commercial Director, learn about how they've adapted to challenging situations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do you ever get frustrated and feel like you just can't get the hang of something or do you have a set amount of intelligence and this is all you can achieve? This is called a fixed mindset.

I'm going to talk to you today about changing your mindset.

It's important for you to know that you can do anything you want to as long as you set your mind to it.

Of course, some people are going to find things more challenging than others, but as long as you have a positive attitude, you can achieve.

Try and think about the brain as a big muscle, so the more you use it, the stronger it gets.

So let's say there's a subject at school that you're not as confident on.

So maths, for example.

Turn this negative into a positive.

So next time you start thinking, I can't do this or it's too hard, instead think I can't do this yet or what can I do in order to achieve what I want to achieve? Today, we've come to Fratton Park to talk to some of the team here about how they've adapted to change and changed their mindsets over the last few months.

So what challenges has the football club faced since the coronavirus outbreak? Trying to actually get a game off with the COVID protocols is just so difficult in you turn up on a match day, everyone has to fill out a form, everyone is temperature checked, trying to keep the other team in their bubble, and that means people coming out at different times in different directions onto the pitch.

So that is proving to be very, very difficult.

Yeah, I understand.

That must be so hard and such a new way of, kind of, running the business as a business and a football club with the community.

Which leads me on to my second question, which is how important has support from the PFC fans and community been during this whole period? I think it's been fantastic.

You know, the core fan base have been really supportive.

And I think from a community point of view, pretty much from the off, when everyone got locked down, we were right behind Clare Martin, who is the CEO of Pompey in the Community.

She was doing 200 hot meals a day for frontline staff, her and her group, getting out 4,500 lunches out to the most needy in the Portsmouth community.

We've supported her as much as we can in that.

So our engagement with the community has been brilliant.

They've been unbelievable throughout this period, Clare and a team have, you know, adapted from usually going into schools and delivering coaching and football sessions to delivering hot meals and food parcels along with our players, and also our staff also helped out as well volunteered during lockdown.

So how is the partnership between the University and the football club worked over this period? You know, it's been really tough in terms of the usual activities that we've done last season in the partnership, where we were out into schools and we've taken players and we talking about resilience and talking about, sort of, how we kind of work as a team and push forward.

We've had to stop those.

So we've had to adapt.

So more Zoom calls, our players have done virtual HIIT sessions, which has been streamed out to the University students.

So I know Ryan Williams did one and that had one of the record number of hits, which is really good views.

So we've really had to adapt and really use technology to be able to engage with the student and fan base to continue that partnership and the message.

Obviously, it has been different as the students gradually start to come back.

A key part of the deal was us getting into the schools, you know, getting into the secondary education to try and get to the people of Portsmouth and say what a great university you've got on your doorstep.

You know, this is a place to come.

It's still been trying to get that message out but I think between, you know, the two parties we've continued to do that.

Sounds like all good stuff that you've been doing.

It is so hard to, especially in this new environment, to try and digitally engage with people.

But I think it's really important, I'm sure, that kids at school are used to kind of the digital engagement, having Zoom calls and things like that.

So one of the biggest things is live streaming the games.

We had the platform last season before the virus kicked in.

But really, it's so important for us now to drive the iFollow and make sure that our season ticket holders and our fans can still watch the game and live stream it.

You get kids introduced to Pompey by their dads and granddads, at say 7,8,9.

They come for the first game and they're hooked.

It's like, Dad, can we go again next Saturday? And that is, that was my experience, you know, so in football.

And that's how it gets ya.

It's how do you now get that future generation hooked when they're not allowed into a game? It does still keep you connected with the players, with the manager and with the club and something to look forward to on a 3 o'clock Saturday afternoon.

So it still gives you a sort of connection, even though you're not in the ground.

It is definitely a completely different way of doing things.

I think it's important for people to learn the different ways that they can adapt to the new situations.

And important to hear from people like you, how you've responded to things and how you're dealing with it because it really is just a time that something that's never happened to us before and.

Everybody is really doing the best they can, adapting and sort of getting on with the kind of new normal way of living.

And hopefully, you know, it will come to some sort of end and there will be a vaccine and we can get back to being more social and having that interaction again.

How have you adapted to this new way of playing? Because it must be really different for you not having all of these fans here cheering you on? Yeah, I think it's very unusual and difficult to grasp to begin with.

I think slowly now, the more games we're having the better we're dealing with it, but obviously, nothing replicates the fans, especially at a club like Portsmouth.

We're used to amazing support every home game.

So they are sorely missed and everyone in football wants them back safely as soon as possible.

How have you been able to focus with everything that's been going on around you? Do you have any tips for staying focussed on one challenge? Try not to look too far ahead, really.

People sometimes do look too far ahead and tend to then worry about stuff that doesn't need worrying about.

So just focus on maybe short term and then gradually look to the longer term after that.

So how do you stay focussed on training whilst you're at home? It was hard, especially when we didn't know what day it was going to come back in.

Think you just got to keep going, keep ticking over.

And eventually, when we got that news where we was playing in the playoffs, I think it boosted everyone, really.

It boost the confidence of every player to get back in shape.

Hopefully, we can achieve that aim that we wanted to do for the last five, six years.

What kept you going whilst you were at home? It got quite competitive, didn't it? On our Strava because we had like a 5 or 10k run and you do your time.

And so was Sean Raggett in that is like two minutes fast and you're like, God, you know, maybe I've got unfit and ate too much.

It's like, if I kept the structure during lockdown, trying not to stay in bed too long and then just get out.

And we have to be quite self-motivated, don't we? And just important we looked after ourselves and then we came back in really good shape I thought.


Everyone's was really fit.

Was it difficult not being around your team-mates? I think it was.

Sometimes you kind of get a bit bored of your team-mates because you're always with them.

Every day, really, you spend more time with your team-mates than you do your family members.

After a couple of weeks, you're like, it's like when you go off season, when you go away for the summer and you have your time away from the club to recharge the batteries, you do miss the lads.

And it was nice to get back into the changing rooms, seeing the boys, seeing how they coped with the pandemic and what was going off.

Did you keep in touch via Zoom or have quizzes? We didn't really do too much Zoom, did we? I did a lot of quizzes.

Yeah, I did a lot of quizzes.

I did a lot of quizzes with my
family and some of my mates back home.

There's only enough questions you can do and answer them.

We've all got a WhatsApp group,
haven't we? Yeah.

So what have you been up to outside of football? When it was the pandemic and it was really serious, we did a lot of voluntary work with the football community and quite a lot of lads did it if you stayed round the Portsmouth area.

Christian Burgess was really good with it, to be fair.

When he was here he did a lot of days where he was volunteering with food banks and delivering food for elderly people.

And I think there's a fair few boys did it as well who lived around this area, which is a good sign, which is a good thing for the club that the players give out what the fans give us really.


And on the subject of the pandemic, has the pandemic made you think differently about your future? For me personally, I'm always trying to think about a career outside of football.

And obviously, it's such a short career that you've got to have one eye on the future.

And me personally, I've started an Open University degree, which I kind of did off my own back with some help from the PFA who fund players.

It's in sports business management, which is a topic that interest to me without definitely knowing if that's a path I want to go down.

I just felt there's a lot of core skills with it alongside just getting a degree.

It just gives me something else to focus on, away from football and sort of the pandemic.

You can, sort of, just load your laptop up and get on with it.

I would recommend it to players.


I think it's, probably, we don't do enough as, sort of, an industry to plan ahead and think about what you can do after football.

And then it comes and then people are struggling to adapt.

It has been tough and some days I think, why did I sign up for that? And, um, we even being at Portsmouth, there's a lot of travelling involved with games and, uh, spending time on the bus and in hotels where I can do it.

So it's just making use of my time.

And hopefully all the hard work will open some doors for me in the future.

It's inspirational saying to people who are balancing, you know, doing extra work outside of their jobs.

So what advice would you give young people at this point in time about their pathways, what they want to do with their future and all the options they've got available to them? Yeah, I think my advice would be to just take as many opportunities that come your way.

Don't be scared of doing something that might be uncomfortable for you.

You're more often than not, be glad that you did it.

You know, when you take that first step.

So I think, you know, whatever pathways open or things that you can do outside, um, your main topic, then that would be good.

And you'd be amazed how many doors it can open and people you can meet, you know, so you'll be glad to do it, you know, once you make that first step.

Do you have any tips on how to adjust to new situations? Probably adapting to different lifestyles, like you said, stadiums where there's no fans, trying to push your team-mates through the game and make the atmosphere your own, really.

There's a lot more going on in the world, which you can, um, affect really yourself, whether that's, you know, the voluntary work and helping other people that need it or just trying something new.

There's lots of things that you can do.

Thank you, guys.

Now let's take a look at some of the pathways that are available to you.

Let's talk about you and your options.

When thinking about your future and which educational pathway you might want to take, it's really important for you to know just how much is available to you.

Think about what you enjoy most at school.

Is there a particular subject you're really passionate about and want to take forward? What are you best at? Take this into consideration when you're picking your options and making decisions about your steps after school.

So at the moment you guys are in year 9.

You're most likely thinking about GCSE options or maybe some of you have already picked them and are thinking ahead about what you do when you reach 16 and go on to sixth form or college.

If you've got a particular career in mind, take a look at the course entry requirements at colleges and sixth forms as some may ask for specific GCSEs.

So, for example, if you wanted to study biology A level, you will most likely be required to have particular grades in double or triple science.

So there are loads of different pathways you can take at 16.

And I'm just going to talk you through some of them.

So you could go to college or sixth form and study A levels.

So if you're someone who prefers exams and written work, A levels might be the right path for you to take.

So with A levels, you would most likely be picking three to four different subjects, which you have an interest in.

If you're more of a practical learner, qualifications such as apprenticeships, vocational courses or T levels, might suit you a bit better.

So these types of qualifications usually involve an element of work experience but focus on one subject area.

When deciding which pathway to take it's really important for you to get all of the information you need.

You can get this from loads of different places, such as going to college or sixth from open evenings, speaking to your careers advisor or maybe getting advice from older siblings or friends who've already been through this.

It's worth taking a look at where you would do your sixth form or college studies.

Most colleges or sixth forms in Portsmouth are not connected to schools, so you'd be going to college or sixth form with students from all around the area.

So after you finish your studies at college or sixth form, you have so many more pathways and options for you to consider.

You could decide you want to do a degree at university.

So most university undergraduate degrees, or first degrees, take three years to complete.

So depending on what course, there could be an extra placement year involved so that could make a three year degree, four years, one of those years being work placement and the other three being university study.

Or you could choose to study a degree apprenticeship.

Now, these are quite different from traditional university degrees because they involve quite a large amount of work placement throughout the entire degree.

So the tuition fees for these courses are usually paid for by the employer and you'll be paid a wage whilst you're working and studying.

Some of you might choose a different path to those I've just mentioned and decide to take a year out of education maybe.

So you could choose to go travelling or start work to earn some money before deciding which path to take.

Or you might choose to go straight into employment from sixth form or college.

It's really important for you to know that there's no right path, only the right path for you.

Everyone's different, so make sure you do your research, speak to your teachers, your friends and family to help make sure you make the best decision for you.

We'd like you to have a think about challenges that you've faced over the last few months, particularly over lockdown.

What challenges did studying from home present to you? Now, we'd like you to make a list of tips for students in your position.

So think about what you did best to make sure you worked as hard as possible or what you wish you'd done.

This could be made on a padlet board or just pop it on Post-it notes.