Presenting a “Culture of Care” at DII Apple Institute

Prevention Strategies President Dr. David Wyrick and Director of Programs Dr. Jeff Milroy presented at the NCAA Division II APPLE Institute, hosted by the APPLE Institute and the Gordie Center. 

Their presentation focused on how student-athletes and their respective athletics programs commonly align on the belief that elite sport performance is the ultimate measure of success and that success comes from pushing the boundaries of one’s bodies and minds. This mindset may result in a vision for success that is based solely on elite performance, but at what cost?

A common misconception is that concerted efforts to address these issues could detract from success as measured by athlete performance. However, there are ways for athletics departments and student-athletes to share a vision of success that prioritizes health and well-being without it impacting the drive to perform at an elite level. A “Culture of Care,” where athletes thrive in a health-conscious, supportive environment that maintains its commitment to on-the-field success can be developed. When accomplished, this culture of care encourages student-athletes to reach their potential, fosters human development, facilitates and exemplifies inclusion, and creates space for effective prevention and education. The presentation described a path to action that can initiate, foster, and sustain culture change that simultaneously promotes winning and well-being for all student-athletes.

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