The “Life of an Athlete” program, or “Athlete Committed”, was recently adopted by the Biggs School District in early June. The program will be a part of Biggs’ Wolverine Committed, according to Biggs Unified School District Superintendent Doug Kaelin.
"Life of an Athlete" was developed by John Underwood as a prevention/intervention program that offers insight, education and strategies to athletes affected by various issues—such as drug and alcohol abuse, hazing, obesity and sportsmanship.
The program also emphasizes issues that student-athletes are faced with everyday, including stress, poor nutrition and lack of sleep. It offers schools a scientific base for structuring an athletic program, as well as developing an athletic policy that can benefit the athlete, the team, and the school.
As part of Biggs’ Wolverine Committed, student-athletes and their parents will be required to go through an educational session that examines topics, such as recovery time, nutrition, training patterns and methods, lifestyle, psychological preparation, the human body, and more.
Additionally, the program includes a 365-day policy in which student athletes are prohibited from using drugs and alcohol. Punishment for getting caught using drugs or alcohol can range from a warning to not being allowed to participate in school athletics depending on the totality of the circumstances.
Kaelin insisted that the program is not intended to trap students, nor is the intent to keep students from participating in athletics.
“The major goal is to educate students to be better in all aspects of life,” said Kaelin.
“One component that we’re trying to stress is for the student-athletes to take on leadership roles in school and in the community. Our goal is that it will carry over into all aspects of the school, not just athletics.”
According to Kaelin, the reception to adopting Wolverine Committed has been positive overall. The Biggs Unified School Board passed the adoption of the “Life of an Athlete” program by a 3-2 vote. Kaelin says that he feels most of the parents from Biggs were supportive of adopting the “Life of an Athlete” program.
“A few parents had some questions, but ultimately there was a lot of strong support for it.”
To further improve the athletics program, the Biggs School District has recruited outside sources to help coaches and athletes. Earlier this week, Biggs brought in Shaun Huls for an athletic clinic.
Huls was one of the first to be added to the Eagles coaching staff after the new Philadelphia Eagles’ Head Coach Chip Kelly took over. Now the Eagles’ Sports Science Coordinator, Huls’ previous post (Head Strength & Conditioning Coach and Combatives Coordinator for Navy Special Warfare) included coordinating strength, conditioning, and injury prevention programs for the Navy SEAL teams.
The program has been adopted by hundreds of high schools, colleges, and universities around the United States. It has been adopted as a statewide program in some states.
Page 2 of 2 - “I believe that it’s a positive program for our student-athletes, our schools, and our community,” Kaelin said.