This paper reports on a study of one pre-service teacher's implementation of the sport education (SE) model in a post-primary school in Ireland. The study sought to identify and understand the mechanisms that facilitate or inhibit learning to teach the model from the perspective of a pre-service teacher Occupational socialization was used to examine how past teaching experiences, physical education teacher education (PETE) and school culture influenced and impacted on the experience of learning to teach the SE model. Qualitative data are reported from interviews and diary entries. Findings reveal that professional socialisation occurring in PETE had the most influence on the pre-service teacher's experience of learning to teach the model. A number of recommendations are made for teacher education and for professional development specialists attempting to improve professional development opportunities and facilitate curricular change.