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.
Sleep, Nutrition, and Hydration
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.
Being a Professional Athlete
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.
Alcohol and other Drugs
Our Drug & Alcohol Education program is geared to give accurate and current information about vaping, marijuana, alcohol and other drugs, but more importantly build a foundation of decision-making and self-care that will help them succeed both on and off the field.
Our student-athletes, while elite on the field, are typical teens in other ways. In order to help them understand their growing and changing bodies, the impact of puberty on their emotions and thinking, YSC provides age-appropriate programs on “Sex, Gender, and Sexuality” annually.
“Helping adolescents develop healthy sexuality is difficult without changing the underlying assumptions that sex is competitive, power-based, and conquest-driven. By helping young people change the way they think about sexuality and sexual activity, we can also help change their behaviors to be more healthy and equitable.”
Al Vernacchio, Sexuality Educator