The goal of the APPLE Training Institute is to empower teams of student-athletes and administrators in creating institution-specific action plans to promote student-athlete health and wellness. All teams are required to submit their action plans prior to departure from the institute. Each team selects a primary “slice” of the APPLE model and a secondary focus if applicable. Seventy-six teams, representing all three NCAA divisions, attended the January 2017 institutes. We are pleased to share details from the action plans they submitted.
Sample 2017 Action Plans:
- Create a recruitment policy focusing on the on-campus visit. The policy will include pre-visit preparation, hosting guidelines, and post-visit wrap-up.
- Create a recruitment brochure to send with prospective student-athletes after their official visit. Also, to establish a department-wide standard for hosts of recruits and require coaches to hold a meeting with potential hosts at beginning of the year to establish expectations.
- Plan to develop tools to help student-athlete hosts and recruits to have a better experience. We have a new hosting policy recently implemented in the athletics department. We will also create a hosting guide and workshop to help student-athlete hosts.
Expectations & Attitudes
- Create a social norms campaign to change a culture of binge drinking among athletes.
- Create roundtable discussion series that focuses on a mutual standard of respect.
- Build upon the current peer mentorship program to include student-athlete buy-in, coaches involvement, with the goal of educating mentee’s on the life of a student-athlete and developing ongoing friendships.
- Make recommendations to administration for student-athlete code of conduct and recruitment visit guidelines in the student-athlete handbook. Also, plan to recommend standardized structure for beginning of the season team meetings.
- Ensure that we have a consistent and efficient ATOD department policy for our teams to follow as a minimum. We desire for our student-athletes to not only have an understanding of this policy, but to have a say in the policy development. This policy should be reviewed at the end of each year by the policy committee to stay relevant, efficient, and effective.
- Student-athletes will have a clear understanding of athletic policies, including expectations for ATOD use, consequences associated with ATOD use, and resources focused on student-athlete wellness.
- Create a student-athlete handbook to have an accessible resource for student-athletes to inform them and educate them on campus policies and information, thus increasing student-athlete awareness of rules and policies.
- Education and training of drugs and alcohol use and their effects on student-athletes as well as training on NCAA and institutional policies for the use of drugs and alcohol.
- Circulating a pre-assessment of where our student-athletes currently are concerning their alcohol/drug use. From that information, we can then create the most effective educational program to help decrease unsafe alcohol/drug use patterns that we have found.
- Conduct an alcohol education program for incoming freshmen and transfer student-athletes during the first two weeks of their first semester.
- Train our SAAC on the Step Up Bystander Intervention Program. Add some new elements to our annual freshmen student-athlete presentation and create informational posters in all locker rooms.
- Create a peer-to-peer ATOD educational workshop for all student athletes using a Kahoot based informational presentation. We will be implementing the same educational workshop for all incoming freshmen/transfer student athletes during our Peers Helping Athletes Transition workshop series. Following the presentation, we will conduct a post presentation survey to receive feedback on the effectiveness of the presentation.
- Increase student athlete knowledge of basic alcohol concepts and effects (standard drink size, BAC, sobering up, etc.), alcohol's impact on athletic performance, alcohol use perceptions and realities among student athletes, and resources available at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
- Changing our drug testing policy to align more with our conference. Plan to add a safe harbor program.
- Solidification of clear, consistent, concise drug testing policy across department and within teams
- Our APPLE team plans to develop and implement a hierarchy of consequences for drug and alcohol policy violations.
- Re-examine our Drug Testing & ATOD Education Program-its sanctioning & referral/counseling component with student-athlete input.
Referral and Counseling
- Utilize/expand our peer mentors to inform student-athletes about programs available on campus and resources/people to use in different situations; identify athletes needing support; partner with Student Wellness & Student Health, and Athletics Health, Wellbeing & Sports Performance team in education and support services.
- Raise awareness of mental health issues and resources by educating and equipping peer leaders. Also, incorporate mental wellness into bystander intervention training.