Athletic Connections: An Athletic Learning Outreach Program

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jack M. Slavin (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site:
Dr. Scott Hicks

Abstract: This essay discusses a service-learning program to fulfill the UNCP Honors College requirements. The program is based on academic research initiated in the author’s freshman year at UNCP, studying the impact of and positive correlation between athletics and academics in youth. The research suggests an effective athletic learning outreach program may contain four core competencies: teambuilding, communication, goal setting, and self-confidence or positive self. Based on the research, an important factor in creating a one-day program is to foster mentorship (student-athletes and youth participants) in order to allow the youth participants to see their possible selves. Athletic Connections emerged out of this research with its goals to help build basic communication, leadership, and goal-setting skills for young student-athletes so that they can have stronger, more meaningful interactions with their teachers, parents, and peers; to help students build self-esteem and self-confidence through sports activities; and to include possible selves programming (Hock, 2011) for their cultivation of interpersonal relationships and high self-esteem crucial to a student’s long term success. Athletic Connections has progressed since its inaugural year, earning multiple awards and accolades. Athletic Connections is an annual, all-day, high intensity event composed of six different activity stations focused on the core competencies previously mentioned. This program brings together student athletes, university departments, local organizations, and businesses to partake in an athletic field day exemplifying the connection and importance between athletics and academics. The third annual Athletic Connections event, April 16, 2016, served forty-four youth participants from six different local youth organizations.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Esther G. Maynor Honors College
Language: English
Date: 2016
Athletic Connections, Athletics, Sports, Student Athletes, Outreach Programs, Service-Learning Programs, Service Projects, University of NC at Pembroke

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