NCHSAA Student Services Makes Big Difference


       CHAPEL HILL — Surveys of student-athletes involved in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Student Services program indicate that the training they are getting is making a big difference.

       The Student Services division of the NCHSAA provides innovative opportunities such as the Student-Athlete Summer Institute (SASI) and Coach-Captain Retreats. In these settings, student-athletes at NCHSAA member schools, as well as coaches and parents, may receive training on leadership development skills, role modeling and mentoring techniques, sportsmanship, and prevention training on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD).

       In addition, the programs are designed to prepare student-athletes, coaches and other school personnel to be mentors, role models and leaders; to support the improvement in student-athlete performance in academic achievement and related areas; and to teach positive values, respect, teamwork and sportsmanship. Almost 400 students were involved with SASI or Coach-Captain during the 2009-10 academic year.

       Survey data revealed that at the end of training, participants knew much more about how alcohol and other drugs hinder athletic performance and hurt personal relationships than prior to training. At the conclusion of the 2009-10 academic year, students who had attended SASI indicated that 76 percent had witnessed certain behaviors and had chosen to take a stand on ATOD issues with fellow students.

       School achievement is also emphasized in the program, and 77 percent of student-athletes involved in either SASI or Coach-Captain Retreats maintained a grade point average of 3.0 or better. School absences as well as discipline referrals declined, and not a single student in either program was ejected from any contest during their respective seasons.

       In terms of sportsmanship, 88 percent of the student-athletes surveyed reported they had witnessed acts of poor sportsmanship among fellow students last year and chose to take a stand against it.

       “Our Student Services program is making a tremendous difference in the lives of our student-athletes, which in turn promotes a positive atmosphere in our schools.” says NCHSAA Commissioner Davis Whitfield. “Our program is touching unprecedented numbers of people and we are encouraged by its continued success.”