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Defined: The 5 Phases of Student-Athlete Development

By November 17, 2016 January 4th, 2017 No Comments

The student-athlete journey is not easily defined. Mainly, this is because no two athletes share the same journey. They grow up in different places, come from different backgrounds, face different challenges, yet somehow all end up in collegiate athletics. They share a love for sport and the need for specialized development. The comprehensive student-athlete development process can be broken down into 5 key phases, each highlighting a different stage of the journey.

The Foundation

The Foundation phase of development focuses on the transition from high school to college. It involves a self-awareness process that helps the student-athlete understand who they are and their goals, the resources available to them, as well as the time commitments that are required of them.

Academic Performance

The Academic Performance phase stresses a student-athlete’s ongoing, academic success. One key activity a student-athlete completes during this phase is determining which majors best compliment their personality, interests and aptitude. This phase is also about learning fundamental skills necessary for academic success like how to properly take notes in class, read a textbook, and communicate with professors during office hours.

Career Development

The Career Development phase represents the student-athlete’s transition into the workforce, and focuses first on gauging a student-athlete’s career interests and then preparing them for success during the job-search process.

World Ready

The World-Readiness phase of development represents the student-athlete’s psychological transition away from their sport and onto the next phase of their life. After a student-athlete has successfully made this transition, it is important that they also achieve a basic level of financial literacy to help them start their post-collegiate life and career.

Engaged Alumni

During this phase, the student-athlete—now an alum—begins to give back to their alma mater by helping other student-athletes make the transition into the professional world. At this point, they can engage with the athletic department, as well as current student-athletes by offering career advice, mentorship and connections.

While no student-athletes share the same journey, they still all share a need for comprehensive development. At Game Plan, we recognize this need and work to provide the necessary tools to improve the student-athlete experience every step of the way.  Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts on the journey!


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