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Unique Program Helps Student Athletes Stay off Drugs

student athleteYoung student athletes are particularly susceptible to drug and alcohol use. In some schools, alcohol is very much a part of the athletic scene. And kids often get involved in drugs both because they’re popular and tend to have drugs offered to them, and because they can get hooked on drugs when they’re given prescriptions for injuries. Here is a unique program you might want to implement at your kids’ schools in order to keep them clean.

John Girard , a spokesman for The Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, recently spoke at the monthly meeting of the Monument Prevention Coalition about the FCA’s One Way 2 Play program which is helping young athletes stay off drugs. What they’re doing is worth emulating and might be just the type of thing you want to get started in your kids’ schools.

Mr. Girard says his program is not just for Christians, so whatever your religion, or none, you’re welcome to participate in the group. If you start your own, you could make everyone welcome – as is Mr. Girard’s.

The group focuses on three factors: faith, commitment and accountability. It’s all about “instilling values, encouraging goal-setting and establishing accountability.”

Mr. Girard said he read a recent study which revealed that “students have a 60 percent greater chance of following through on commitments if they have actually signed something, and 85 percent greater chance if they stay accountable to a peer at least once a week.”

I haven’t found that study, but I did find others that are similar. The most interesting was the difference between those who write down their goals and those who don’t. A study conducted on 267 participants at the Dominican University in California found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals simply by writing them down.

That aligns with Girard’s program. He gets a commitment from students regarding drug and alcohol use, and each is put in writing. So far, his group has 350,000 commitments!

The students also have weekly ‘huddles’ – that’s where the accountability comes in. Girard is also going great guns on this – there are now 21 weekly huddle meetings.

If you live in the Panhandle area, you can get your son or daughter involved.

If you don’t live there, or even in Nebraska, get something going at your son or daughter’s school.

Remember the days when athletes were the healthiest people around and were looked up to? You son or daughter could be one of them.

If you have a son or daughter who’s already in trouble, call us for advice on what to do next.

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