The NCAA Sport Science Institute (SSI) is the organization’s new national center for excellence for the study and improvement of health and safety in athletics. The SSI is devoted to research, education, collaboration, policy development, and best practice guidelines that will benefit the safety, excellence and wellness of the intercollegiate student-athlete. In order to achieve its goals, the SSI is partnering with member institutions and organizations that can further its mission and vision. The SSI does not perform primary research on site, but instead works in a collaborative model with other groups in pursuit of common goals.
The core values of the SSI include:
- Excellence: The SSI strives for excellence in disseminating information, fostering new ideas, and collaborating with key partners.
- Integrity: The SSI is committed to fostering a culture of integrity and the highest ethical standards.
- Inclusion and Collaboration: The SSI functions in collaboration with people and institutions from multiple backgrounds and points of view.
- Commitment: The SSI is committed to ensuring that college student-athletes train and compete in a safe and healthy environment.
- Leadership: The SSI is focused on providing the leading voice in promoting and developing safety, excellence, and wellness in athletes of all ages.
The strategic priorities of the SSI include:
- Education and dissemination of information
- Research initiatives
- Collaboration with stakeholders
- Applied sport sciences & sport performance
- Intra-organization safety and health
The SSI will set up a number of task forces that address health and safety issues facing student-athletes. Task forces include noted national experts who are willing to serve for the common good of intercollegiate student-athletes and intercollegiate sports. A core premise is that sport offers an exciting and compelling pathway toward excellence and self-development within a community that shares common visions and dreams. Because college student-athletes have participated in sport throughout much of their childhood and adolescence, the SSI will also develop pathways with Youth Sport, embracing the Long-Term Athlete Development model of athletic development.