Health and well-being are critical to athletic success, especially when you’re performing at a high level. Our Healthy Active Living - Elite Athlete course helps competitive Greenwood athletes get what they need to succeed.
Whether they’re swimming, skiing, playing hockey or running, elite athletes devote much of their time outside of school to training and competing. The PPL2O3 course provides an opportunity for these athletes to earn a credit through the assessment and evaluation of their athletic experiences outside of class time.
“It’s almost like a co-op placement,” says teacher Janelle Watson. “These students are putting in more than eight hours a week of training and game time.”
Each student logs that time, which has to occur with a team or coach. “Solo workouts don’t count,” Janelle says. “A coach needs to be there to work with the student and communicate with me about attendance and performance improvement.”
Health components of the course, which include units such as Human Development and Sexual Health, Healthy Eating, Mental Health and Injury Prevention, are worked through in class. Additional coursework is self-paced, meaning students can arrange their work around their schedules.
“It really helps me with time management,” says Connor Ciotlos ‘20, a multi-sport athlete. “I can complete the work in chunks when I have free time.” When not required to be in class, students can also use the time in their schedule to complete work for other courses. Having this flexibility helps many of these students to keep their stress levels low - a critical element of mental health.
In addition to their practice and competition time, athletes also log their sleeping and eating habits. “It’s easy to ignore those things, so it’s great to have a chance to reflect on them,” says Robyn Perry ‘20, a cross-country and track athlete. “The more I hear about the importance of sleep and nutrition, the more it’s driven into me.”
Anne Farr ‘21, a swimmer, agrees. “Food is the fuel,” she says. “It’s good to be reminded of what a big difference it can make.”
For all three athletes, the sleep log has been eye-opening. “When you have to write down that you only slept for 6 hours, you’re motivated to go to bed earlier the next night,” Robyn says. Connor has also been reminded of the importance of sleep by his athletic log. “I had a 17-hour athletic week recently,” he says. “During those weeks, it’s especially important that I get lots of sleep.”
One thing Dr. Greg Wells has stressed in his visits is the importance of routine - and that’s a message our student-athletes have definitely received. “I didn’t realize how important it is to sleep and eat at the same time every day,” Anne says. “Keeping those things consistent has a big impact.”