Full Potential Pilot Program Will Debut In January

Full Potential Pilot Program Will Debut In January

From the Desk of Al Bean: Full Potential Pilot Program Will Debut In January

When the second semester opens on January 12, 2015, a group of 40-50 USM student-athletes will take part in a pilot program designed to help them grow as individuals and achieve optimal levels of performance.  The program, dubbed Full Potential, will continue the athletic department’s unwavering commitment to provide opportunities and experiences for student-athletes in five key developmental areas:  Academic Achievement, Athletic Performance, Personal Development, Career Development and Service to Community. 

 These commitments remain consistent with the original goals of the NCAA Life Skills program initiated by the national governing office in the early 1990s.  USM was one of the original six NCAA Division III programs to join the initiative which was initially designed for Division I student-athletes.  Through the years, Life Skills education has played a significant role for our student-athletes and has been skillfully guided, first by Kim Turner, and more recently by Meredith Bickford, Assistant Director of Athletics for Student Development.
Full Potential will take Life Sills further, be broader in its scope and collaborative with many other key areas of University Life.  The steering committee for the Full Potential program includes administrators from Athletics and Student Life, coaches, strength training and nutrition experts, athletic training and health fitness professionals, student health and counseling practitioners and the leadership and resources of ARAMARK.  Response to the initiative has been very positive and expectations are high. 

The pilot will begin with an immediate focus on sports nutrition in partnership with our strength and conditioning program.  The sports nutrition initiative will be referred to as Eat To Compete.  The focus of Eat To Compete will be on healthy eating, pre-performance preparation, day of competition choices and the post activity recovery phase.  In addition to sports nutrition, the following non-exhaustive list of topics will be part of the pilot:  performance anxiety, functional mobility testing, Strengths Finder, time management, presentation skills, Mentors In Violence Prevention, social media education, career related skills, networking, a pen pal program with elementary school students in Gorham and many more.

 Full Potential is just one of the new initiatives created by Athletics and starting this year.  Earlier this year, the Fan Experience Committee, a collaboration of Athletics and Student Life professionals, began working on improving and expanding games and events.  Full Potential and the Fan Experience will support additional work being done by the First Year Experience Committee that is taking a global look at the first year experience for residence hall students and includes the expansion of Living Learning Communities on the Gorham Campus. 

My sincere thanks goes out to everyone who has stepped forward and worked together to help improve the overall student experience.  Well done.