Habitudes for Athletes is a four-year program. The first year covers principles to help student athletes develop strong self-leadership skills. The second-year focuses on teamwork and communication skills, and the third year is designed for upperclassman in a leadership role on the team. The fourth year is specifically designed to help athletes survive the tough transitions from high school to college and college to career. See topic summary.
The college and professional teams using the Habitudes for Athletes curriculum often attach it to team meetings either weekly or every other week. For instance, many football teams view the brief video and then discuss it just before game film, baseball teams often do it before batting practice once a week, other teams use academic advisement periods, etc. The bottom line? If coaches believe it’s important to build leadership and character in their players—they find time to do it in their routines. They are intentional.
Each Habitude can be covered in 30-60 minutes. The DVD portion lasts between 10-12 minutes. Then players discuss questions about the principle afterward for about 20 minutes. The facilitator often takes no more than five minutes to set up the topic and summarize it in the end. At times, players will become very engaged with the concept and want to talk longer, but most teams take about 40 minutes to cover each Habitude session.
Each DVD covers one Habitude. The Habitude is simply an image that represents a timeless leadership principle. The videos include Dr. Tim Elmore teaching a principle and illustrating it with sport stories. There is an interview with a professional or NCAA athlete who communicates how the principle works in their life. This all sets the stage for players to discuss the life skill or principle and apply it to their personal life. Habitudes are different in that they teach with the power of an image, a conversation and an experience…not a lecture.
There are teams that use the program during the season, and others prefer off-season. Depending on athletes’ schedules, you may want to plan it when the calendar is not so full. However, many teams choose to discuss them right in the middle of a season, as motivational and inspirational discussions for players. There is no right or wrong time to do it; each team must decide when they’ll get the most out of it.
Some coaches insist they lead the discussion each week, since they’re the point person or leader for their players. They want to model the importance of each leadership principle. Other coaches enlist the help of life-skills staff, academic advisors or character coaches to facilitate the sessions. Some schools and pro teams actually assemble a “teaching team” to build creative outlines, and they become the designated facilitators for Habitudes. The key is to identify who has a passion for relaying these important principles and is able to facilitate good discussion. Many teams have noticed that upperclassmen can be effective facilitators for younger athletes, and they engage them in the teaching process as much as possible.
The good news about Habitudes For Athletes is that it can complement existing life-skills programs. Many athletic departments use it as part of their overall programming. They engage the right brain and foster great conversations among players and coaches. Most teams that use the Habitudes report that the images provide an easy way to remember important principles and they furnish a language to use on and off the field. Habitudes can enhance the culture you wish to cultivate in your players. They accelerate athletes’ understanding of important habits and attitudes. We often say that Habitudes cannot give an athlete more talent, but they will help harness every bit of talent they have.
There are dozens of ways that professional, college and high school athletes use the Habitudes program. Some schools have opted to take all first-year players through the curriculum, in order to establish a healthy culture. Others simply focus on one entire team. Still others choose to take their senior athletes through the material, who, in turn, teach the freshmen and sophomores. Some have chosen to teach the material to all athletes in one large setting and then break them into small groups based on teams. Each school or team must determine their greatest needs and focus there.
What makes Habitudes different is that they communicate important principles athletes need in a manner they can receive it best. Instead of a lecture on character or leadership, the curriculum employs the power of an image, a conversation and an experience. We recommend you show the brief video and then break the larger group into smaller groups for discussion. Finally, facilitators bring the entire group back together to summarize conclusions and action steps. Habitudes for Athletes comes with Coach’s Guides that provide creative ideas for discussion questions, movie clips, ice-breaker activities and lesson outcomes. Several schools use the Habitudes curriculum as a for-credit course. For instance, one NCAA D-1 school uses the program as part of its Freshman Orientation class for student athletes.
For High Schools: Contact Tyler Yaken at (678) 369-7009 or[email protected] to receive a free preview of the program or to get more information on booking an event.
For Colleges and Universities: Contact JT Thoms at (678) 359-6763 or [email protected] to receive a free preview of the program or to get more information on booking an event.