Wellness Program


Everything we do starts with the mind. Most athletes agree that the mental game plays a significant role in sport, yet rarely give this domain the deserved attention. That is where this course comes into play. In this course, our students learn principles of sport psychology and understand how to apply them to their everyday lives, as both soccer players and as human beings. Through this course, the hope is that each student will gain new awareness and understanding of who he is and how he can harness his mind to become the best version of himself he can possibly be.

Additionally, this course provides an opportunity to explore the importance of mental health and mental wellness. It goes without saying that the lives of our students are filled with intense competition, busy schedules, and various pressures, stressors, and expectations. In this course, students have a chance to collaborate and support one another, as well as to learn strategies to respond effectively to the challenges and unexpected obstacles they experience in their lives. As the saying goes, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

Every student is enrolled in Health and Wellness, which meets twice per week. Different curricula are covered in different age groups:

6th-9th Grade: Sport Psychology Foundations, Goal Setting, Reflection, Growth Mindset, Managing Mistakes, Overcoming Challenges, Receiving Feedback, Effort, Mindfulness/Meditation, Breathing Techniques, Visualization

10th-12th Grade: Goal Setting, Reflection, Identity, Personal Values, Self-Awareness, Mindfulness/Meditation, Stress Response, Self-Talk, Thought Patterns, Emotional Awareness/Management, Emotional Vulnerability, Stress Management

Mindful Mondays: School-wide meditation sessions are offered once a week on Mondays to allow students the opportunity to center themselves as they begin the week.

1-on-1 Meetings: Individual meetings are scheduled throughout the school year with the course instructor to discuss any personal obstacles or challenges, as well as to apply course concepts to their real-world experiences.

YSC Academy student-athletes are under pressure to perform both on and off the field.  We want our students to have the resources to effectively navigate these pressures, and handle their stress in healthy ways.


Mental health education and awareness is vital for every adolescent. Our small school size and our Mentor system provide close adult relationships, and help prevent our students from falling through the cracks; our boys are known and feel cared about. In addition, we bring in local experts to educate the boys about mental health issues, including how to ask for help for themselves or others. The nationally recognized Minding Your Mind program provides excellent educational programs for our students, helping them learn the signs and symptoms of mental health issues, as well as the range of treatment options. As they put it, “Minding Your Mind Programs move away from crisis-based response to prevention through education.” In the event a student is struggling with a mental health issue, we have a network of professionals at the Wayne Counseling Center we utilize to get him the specialized care and guidance he may need.


Healthy sleep routines and nutrition-rich eating habits are vital for our students to excel in all aspects of their lives. Philadelphia Union Director of Performance, Garrison Draper, presents our students with current research on what our young scholar-athletes need to keep their bodies and minds fit and nimble. Using a mix of lecture, discussion, and information on food and sleep-tracking apps, he helps ensure that our students are prepared to take ownership of keeping themselves well-rested and properly fed.


We offer a sport psychology focus for our middle and high school students. Brett Blackiston, sports psychologist, focuses on the importance of mental skills training optimizing athletic performance. Brett’s small group sessions will occur at scheduled times through the year and include topics such as:

  •   Stress Response/Stress Management
  •   Relaxation/Breathing Techniques
  •   Mindfulness Training
  •   Identity/Values Development
  •   Self-Awareness and Self-Talk Strategies
  •   Focusing on Controllables
  •   Emotional Awareness/Emotional Vulnerability
  •   Goal Setting and Reflection

YSC Academy also partners with Wayne Counseling Center for individual counseling for student-athletes.