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Number of Student-Athletes by Country, Divisions I and II

PROF Academy: A Model to Enhance Overall Well-being, Mental Health Practices and Professional Development Among Division III Student-Athletes

Student-athletes indicated their desire to be prepared for academic success after college. PROF Academy served as a model for Division III institutions to assist student-athletes as they transition into the professional environment by providing education on mental health and career development concepts such as mindfulness, stress management, anxiety, resume writing, interviewing skills and networking. This program enhanced interdisciplinary collaboration throughout Rowan University and improved the psychosocial well-being and career preparedness of student-athletes.

Online Athlete Bridge to Career Development (A.B.C.D.) Program

The goal of higher education is to ensure that students receive an education that allows them to obtain a career beyond college. Student-athletes may permit their identities as athletes to overshadow the need to explore viable career options beyond sport given athletic time commitments and focus on performance. This 100 % online program was designed to assist athletes in (1) identifying potential career paths, (2) teaching the importance of developing an identity outside their sport, (3) learning how to positively promote themselves through social media and personal branding, and (4) providing the tools for applying and interviewing for employment.

Injured Athlete Wellness Program: Creation of an Internet-Based Intervention, Providing Mental Health Support for Injured Athletes

An injured student athlete cannot recover from an injury unless guided through an optimal return to play environment addressing both physical and mental aspects of rehabilitation, with the end goal being pre-injury status. This on demand program was designed to provide easily accessible, multi-module, internet based support, for the mental well-being of the injured student athlete. This program was conveniently piloted out of Sonoma State University’s, Sports Medicine Center during already scheduled rehabilitation times, using baseline and post injury scores assessed with the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory-28 to determine the psychological skills.

Changing Minds, Changing Lives: A Winning Transition to College

The transition to college can be challenging for many student athletes, particularly for those who have encountered significant adversity due to family, community or societal factors. African-American male students with elevated early-life stress loads are overrepresented among intercollegiate athletes.  Resilience-fostering interventions delivered during this transition can contribute to improved academic and athletic performance, as well as positive health outcomes. The Changing Minds, Changing Lives (CMCL) program, a strengths-based course, promoted an adaptive response to stress, improved self-regulation, cognitive flexibility, and positive identity development. CMCL brings, mindfulness training and exploratory group writing to enhance resilience in the transition into college and beyond. NCAA support enabled the CMCL team to analyze further evidence of program outcomes, develop a program resource guide, and design a training curriculum for dissemination to NCAA-member schools.

Athlete Mindfulness: The Development and Evaluation of a Mindfulness Based Training Program for Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing

The severity and number of mental health symptoms are increasing on college campuses. Thirty percent of student-athletes reported overwhelming distress over the last month (Paskus & Bell, 2016). Time demands complicate mental health delivery, as student athletes are increasingly busy with academic and team demands. This study developed a 5-session mindfulness-based training program aimed at improving wellbeing and mindfulness ability while reducing anxiety among college student-athletes. Within a sample of NCAA Division I athletes (N = 36), mindfulness ability and overall wellbeing significantly increased and anxiety significantly decreased by the final session. Frequency of mindfulness practice increased for a large majority of participants, lasting beyond conclusion of the study and respondents expressed high levels of satisfaction with the program. Results have been formatted into a training program handbook for ease of implementation among NCAA member institutions.

Division II Graduation Rates Database




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