Welcome to our new instructor, Jamie
Jamie has been attending Rabble for the past year, he’s been a dedicated player and has made a huge impact on the Rabble community. He made the leap to instructor not too long ago and is now a fine addition to our team!
We’ve been to his sessions and highly recommend checking them out!
We picked his brain to find out a little bit more about him, his impact on Rabble and hopefully his answers will help anyone else that’s been thinking about joining the team.
Welcome to the team, Jamie!
How did you find out about Rabble?
“I stumbled across Rabble on Time Out’s website when looking for fun things to do in London. The activities in the photos looked like a laugh and the names of some of the games were really intriguing like Gladiators, Hunger Games, and Jailbreak so I signed up for a 10 session pass to give it a go.”
How did you hear about Rabble?
“I was a player for just over a year before I put myself forward for instructor training. I wanted an exercise class with some sort of community aspect to it so I started off with the 10 session pass which gave me access to the social group. My first session was with Charlotte doing Gladiators in Southwark Park. When I arrived I was a little apprehensive, not entirely sure what to expect but by the end, I knew this was exactly what I had been looking for. Afterwards, we went for a drink and a chat at a local bar / café where I spoke to a few of the regulars – I was really struck that some players who had come from overseas and didn’t know anyone in London had pretty much built up their entire social group through Rabble! I tried to go at least once a week after that and then started going to socials and within a few months, I was booked onto the Rabble ski trip. Now, I’m completely sold on Rabble: the people, the games, the socials. I wanted to give something back and get more involved, so I put my name forward to become an instructor.”
Did you do any sports before Rabble?
“Short answer: Yes. I’ve tried quite a few things.
- I did gymnastics as a child, but couldn’t do any of it now.
- I did trampolining for a while.
- I played football when I was young but was never any good.
- I played badminton at county level for 4 years in secondary school but then gave it up to focus on my exams.
- I’ve played hockey for as long as I can remember: playing around with a stick and ball at my Dad’s training sessions on grass (before the innovation that is astroturf). I set up and captained my own team at university and still play today for East London where I’m a Vice-Captain. I’ve never been particularly masterful, but I’ve known that – I guess I’ve stuck with it so long because it’s a great workout and there is a fantastic social side to it: going for drinks after matches, nights out with the team, holidays etc. much the same reason as why I enjoy Rabble.
- I’ve done some running on and off: nothing competitive, other than with myself. When I was younger I was really unfit, so for me it’s about training up to complete a long run rather than getting an awesome time. I started off with a local 5k fun-run and was really proud of myself for finishing it, then at university I did my local half marathon, the Bath-Half, and this year I’ve entered the ballot to run the London marathon to support the Alzheimer’s Society.
- I did a little bit of Latin and Ballroom dancing at university and am trying to continue this in London, also dipping my toe into Salsa.
- I love skiing and have been on the slopes since I was about 6 years old!
Other than that, I’ve done a bit of swimming, rugby, tennis, golf and I occasionally play squash with mates from university.
So in summary – Yes, I’ve tried out a lot of sports before Rabble!”
What made you decide to become a Rabble instructor and why?
“I like the challenge posed by being in leadership positions – In the past, I was a children’s gymnastics coach, founder and captain of my hockey team at university, a committee member subsequently elected as Chair of the Latin and Ballroom dance society (also at university) and I’m vice-captain of my hockey team in London. I am a firm believer in continuous learning and I believe that one of the best ways to learn is to teach. Even better, Rabble is something that I am genuinely passionate about, honestly being the best thing I’ve done whilst living in London. For all these reasons, putting myself forward to become an instructor just made sense: I could take on another leadership challenge which involved teaching others about something that I’m passionate about, which has had an immeasurably positive impact on my life.”
How do you squeeze Rabble into your really busy schedule?
“I try to fit quite a lot in, so flexibility is important. I’m secretly a bit of an old man, preferring to use a paper diary instead of my phone for my calendar: some things are fixed like Hockey on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and my Rabble session on Thursdays in Clapham. Other things are a little more flexible, like meeting up with friends, trying out a new dance class or playing squash. Because Rabble sessions are run all over London 6 days a week it’s easy to fit a session in around my plans. I usually try to go along to the Sunday morning sessions down in Clapham – It is in no way convenient for where I live (Stratford), but I swear by it because I can do two classes in a row, the turnout is always great with lots of regulars, and there are some nice local bars/cafes to go to afterwards. Rabble’s flexibility comes in to play if I book a weekend away as it’s dead easy to switch to a weekday class to make up for the missed Sunday session.”
What has been your favourite moment as an instructor so far?
“I’ve not been an instructor for long, only passing my assessment very recently. My favourite moment was actually on the instructor training day, sitting in a café and listening to Charlotte tell the story of how Rabble came about. I’d read the story before, but hearing about Rabble’s purpose, how it has grown and where she sees it going in the future. It all really resonated with me, having experienced it as a player and, as I’d like to set up my own business one day, I couldn’t help but find it inspiring.”
What are you looking forward to most as an instructor?
“It might sound odd, but I’m really looking forward into getting into some sort of Rabble rhythm. I think in psychology it’s referred to as ‘flow’ or ‘unconscious competence’ – Essentially where I know all the rules of all of the games I want to run, with a group of regulars who are familiar with them too, and I get to the stage where sessions run seamlessly and I can experiment by throwing in the odd variation of my own into a game. This is clear when you go to one of the more experienced instructor’s sessions where they’re super relaxed and appear to be having just as much fun as the players! At the moment I write out a plan for each game in each session which can be pretty time consuming but in time I know I’ll internalise it all and I hope to get to the stage when I could run a session on the fly if needs be and perhaps even improvise a little bit too. I’m looking forward to growing my knowledge of the Rabble games so I can run different sessions each week which means that I get more out of instructing and the players get more out of the session!”
What was the biggest surprise about becoming an instructor?
“Starting off as a player, the biggest surprise was seeing behind the veil: the inner workings of Rabble. On the training day we were told how to structure the way we explain the rules, ways to keep everyone engaged, how to pick teams etc. It made me reflect back on times when I have been a player in sessions and there were quite a few “Ah, so that’s why they do that” moments for me. Another surprise was the sheer number of games in the extended list – Seriously guys, there’s a lot of them! I’m looking forward to having a read of them and picking a few out to try out at future sessions”