Q. What can LOA do for our school and community?
Q. What is the big deal? Kids party?
Q. Who does it target?
Q. Why Athletes?
Q. What is the prevention basis to LOA?
Q. What is the emphasis of the program?
Pre-Season Meetings for Entry Level Athletes and Parents
Phase one employs a strategy for school districts to establish mandatory seasonal meetings to discuss conditions for involvement, expectations, philosophy and also to address the issues of chemical health and social drug use by athletes. A clear perspective of the privilege and personal and collective responsibility required to be afforded the opportunity to be an athlete. This program allows you to impact the majority of your entire student body and most importantly the parents. Athletics is the largest target population that exists in any school. Drug data and research is shared with all stakeholders
Athletic Codes of Conduct Conditions for Involvement
The #1 issue reported by high school Athletic Directors is the problem of enforcing Codes of Conduct. This program helps schools to understand what a code is for, what it can impact and how to rewrite them for today's athlete and the dilemmas they face. This program includes strategies for controlling adult fan/stakeholder behaviors of concern, parental issues, and the seven non-negotiable conditions for involvement to partake in high school sports. It also addresses the problem of modern day codes, which are reactive punishment based documents. Codes are re-written as proactive character based documents, taking us to a valuable paradigm shift, supporting our young athletes by telling them what we want them to do and our rationale for why, rather than telling them what we don't want and what we will do to them, if they fail to follow the rules.
Coaching Effectiveness Training for Chemical Health Issues
Phase 3 focuses on training of all coaches at all levels to understand and confront chemical health issues for today's student athlete. Training includes the use of the document "Greatest Threat" which helps a coach impact his/her team with valuable lessons against drug use and affords any coach a perspective of the present day problem and how they can impact it.
Developing Leadership to Confront Behaviors of Concern
This workshop is designed to identify, evaluate and develop hand-picked student-athlete leaders. Once chosen, the primary focus is to teach the individual what it means to be a leader and how to handle the responsibility that comes with a position of authority, influence, and importance. We teach the leaders how to confront their peers with behaviors of concern and to take matters that merit immediate action or continual issues to an adult authority. This workshop gives the coach and administrator a conduit to behaviors in the group. Individual and team success depends on good leadership. The first school to use this program had 27 athletes turned in for chemical health violations in the first year, for failure to follow the code of conduct.
The fifth and final phase in Life of an Athlete is to ensure that all members of the community take stake in eliminating drug and alcohol use among youth. Only by coordinating our efforts and taking a "many messengers with the same message" approach can we ensure that all individuals receive that message. This workshop allows a school district to take a comprehensive look at all aspects of their existing programs and determine priorities for the future. Year five allows all stakeholders to share their views of the entire athletic program. This process gives any school district a valuable perspective of establishing priorities, strengths and limitations for the future directions of the programs. An evaluative process is utilized to garner valuable information on student athlete chemical health issues within your athletic program. The information gained is incredible.
Q. Besides better athletes and winning teams what else can LOA do for our youth?
Q. What domains, protective factors and risk factors does LOA affect?
A. The Life of an Athlete Protective Factors:
A. The "just do it" generation has been marketed to and it has indeed worked. Today's athlete has assumed the adventurer/risk takers stance on how far to push their luck. Athletes have always portrayed the assumption of risk as behavior as usual. The recent onset of increases in pack mentality has certainly increased the problems and behaviors of concern we presently see. Even non-risk takers boldly portray themselves as risk takers to fulfill a "wan-a-be" identity. Social drug use is now normative. It is "Just what they do..." This puts today's athletes at incredible risk for many negative behaviors of concern.
A. It begins at onset in 7th grade with 14.1% reporting alcohol consumption during the school year. This use progresses to 58.5% by 12th grade. It is understandably of concern that the use is associated with increasing amounts throughout high school, although the number of occasions per month remains relatively constant at five drinking episodes per month, which leads us to believe that it is for most once per week on the weekend. Nonetheless, this activity is against the law and dangerous, as alcohol has been linked to nearly all high risk behaviors and health crises. When we combine this alcohol use with high risk behaviors normally experienced by youth, we greatly magnify the propensity for disaster and watch our young adolescents enter the ten most dangerous years of life, ages 14-24.
A. High School Administrators, Athletes, Parents/Guardians, Coaches and Community Stakeholders.
A. Prevention and intervention efforts focus on target populations. Often they look for populations with something in common. Athletes are the largest target population that exists in any community or any school. 40-90% of students in most U.S. schools are involved in at least one sport. More than any other group of adolescents, we have compelling reasons for athletes not to drink, health and performance. Alcohol, a metabolic poison has only negative effects on all physiological parameters. This can be our initial rationale for non-use. High school sports do matter! High school athletics are an integral part of many communities throughout the United States. The local sports teams are the focal point of community life: it's a source of pride, a spot for social gathering, and where initial perception of a community begins; because of this performance matters; the performance of the athletes as well as their behavior. The choice by student-athletes to use drugs greatly affects both of these domains. The athletes are usually the leaders in the school and the way the athletes go the school goes.
A. The Prevention Basis to Athlete Programs and Team Effectiveness
A. The following are some of the additional benefits for student-athletes who choose not to drink alcohol: