Health and Safety in Youth Athletics
In response to the lack of knowledge evident among freshman student-athletes, I approached trusted friends in the medical, mental health, and strength and strength and conditioning fields
to contribute to a curriculum designed to educate the parents of middle and high school
athletes in preparation for collegiate level competition. The result was a series of video modules I directed and produced entitled, Preparing Athletes. Portions of this curriculum were adopted by the College as part of an accredited course to educate its student-athletes.
I produced and directed Advanced Sport Nutrition, featuring Rachel McGarry, RDN, an ultra-marathon competitor and former
United States Navy Fitness Instructor to
educate endurance athletes on their specialized
dietary needs. This too was applied toward the
education of student-athletes.
Please visit the Preparing Athletes Page on this site for the list of instructional videos.
Addressing the Pre-Covid Mental Health Epidemic on Campus
Assistant Director of the Wellness Center
Reemploying the Storytelling Model
Because a mental health epidemic pre-existed Covid,
I was already engaged instructing students on how destabilizing behaviors and unhealthy coping mechanisms exacerbate mental health concerns. My late-life diagnosis with ADHD and PTSD opened the door to encourage and advocate for students who struggled with the stigma of a hidden disability. The added stressor of being a first-year college student, a sleep deprived student-athlete, or both, placed these two demographics at higher risk to present latent mental health issues.
Across the country, including the Capitol District, college counseling departments were backlogged and students needed a safe venue to address emergent struggles to garner support. Empowered by my comorbid diagnosis, I reapplied a student-friendly version of the peer-led support template I began in 2002 and again on campus in ‘07. With a more conversational and disarming approach in mind, salient topics all relating to mental health were addressed.
This relaxed modality flanked the natural defense mechanisms of the listener and neutralized stigma associated with the topics of discussion.
Once again this approach opened the door for self-disclosure among the students who began outing their internal struggles to each other, their parents, and mental health professionals both on and off campus.