UNCG Greensboro utilizes Game Plan across their entire student-athlete development and academic departments. Results have been outstanding and even led the department to host their 2nd “Game Plan Day” in November. How does Game Plan improve UNCG’s student-athlete development efforts? Read below for a Q/A session with Cole Henderson, Coordinator of Spartan Academic Support Services.
Q: Tell us about the pain points you experienced before using Game Plan. What was taking you too much time? What was scattered or disorganized? What were your student-athletes missing out on?
Cole: Before using Game Plan, it was not easy for us to get the same information to a population of student-athletes at the same time. We would host workshops, but we would still run in to the problem of absences. Also, we did not have a system of tracking our student-athletes progress when it came to completion of Life Skills exercises, or S-A development events/activities.
Q: How has Game Plan helped to alleviate those pain points? What is now working better that wasn’t before?
Cole: Game Plan has been a one-stop-shop for our student-athletes. This platform allows our student-athletes to receive valuable information on their own time. During the beginning of the year the students are introduced to the Game Plan platform by completing our custom course relating to UNCG’s student-athlete handbook. Not only does this save time and resources to get the materials to the student-athletes, but by logging on to Game Plan to complete the assignment, it shows the student-athletes that this platform will be important to their success here on campus.
Q: How does Game Plan enhance the brand of your athletics department as you’re trying to recruit prospective student-athletes? Do the parents of prospective recruits appreciate the fact that you’re focused on career outcomes and life after sport?
Cole: I have shown Game Plan to prospective student-athletes and their parents. It’s a great recruiting tool as parents like to know that their child will be utilizing a platform that aids in their development as a young adult. With Game Plan allowing each university to build custom recruiting pages, it acts as a virtual brochure for our department.
Q: Which specific features have you found useful inside Game Plan?
Cole: The best feature we utilize on Game Plan is the ability to build custom courses. When we build custom courses, we can tailor information that directly relates to a UNCG student-athlete. At the very beginning of the year, we were able to create a course that allowed the student-athlete to test their knowledge of our student-athlete handbook. We were able to get 100% completion of the course!
Q: How have those features produced real results that are different than what you experienced before using Game Plan?
Cole: At the very beginning of the year, we were able to create a course that allowed the student-athlete to test their knowledge of our student-athlete handbook. We were able to get 100% completion of the course, which equates to all 240 of student-athletes viewing and comprehending the information in the student-athlete handbook.
Q: Can you think of any specific stories or instances of how Game Plan made an impact on a student-athlete, administrator or your athletics department as a whole?
Cole: We saw a few of our student-athletes accept internships through the career marketplace feature. Seeing this play out further supports that Game Plan does care about a student-athletes life after graduation. One of our women’s basketball players accepted an internship with the Carolina Cobras, an experience that can’t be taken away.
Q: If you had to pick the single biggest impact that Game Plan has had on the work you do inside your athletics department, what would it be?
Cole: Game Plan has made the student-athletes and support staff lives easier. As an academic coach for two teams, sometimes I don’t get to see my upperclassmen as much as the freshmen, due to weekly meetings and simply seeing the freshman around the academic center more frequently. Game Plan allows me to introduce the lessons and information to the student-athletes in a very easy way.
UNC Greensboro Athletics understands the importance of a well-rounded student-athlete experience. As part of their strategic plan, The Spartan Way, UNCG has outlined six guiding principles as the foundation for daily decisions: student-athlete well-being, teamwork, responsibility, integrity, development and excellence (or, S.T.R.I.D.E.).