Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Friday, August 12, 2016

Key Lessons and Outcomes from Sport Exchange Summit 2016

To the day, we are a month after Drug Free Sport’s first “Sport Exchange Summit”, where we gathered thought leaders from sport to discuss the bigger issues that affect “the team behind the team”. For two days, we were inspired and challenged by calls to action to be full resources to the athletic communities that we serve.

A few highlights from this event that continue to resonate:

-         Drug Abuse in Sport: Students are returning to campuses around America right now, each bringing a new set of experiences with them from the summer months. Our presenters that discussed prescription drug abuse and new forms of marijuana consumption shared the risks and access that youth have to these substances. These aren’t the recreational drugs of old – they’re genetically charged, in many cases not prescribed, and widely accessible. Drug Free Sport offers educational options for many levels of sport on how to listen, consult and guide athletes who are experiencing these challenges during an age of experimentation.

-         Race/Diversity in Sport: It’s one of America’s hot topics right now. Sport brings together people of all walks of life, in its best, forming one unit for a greater good. However, there are differences that are to be acknowledges as we embrace the idea that athletes bring their life experiences to the field and court. Learning to listen, understand and embrace these differences, even when they are uncomfortable, is a mentally healthy approach to humanizing your team members.

-         Sport Staff Integration of Ideas: The Sport Exchange Summit brought together career paths that cross each other on campuses and in training centers , but that don’t often speak on a peer level. Throughout many presentations, leaders emphasized the importance of athletic trainers, team psychologists, dietitians, athletic administrations and others sharing ideas for the athletes that they support. It wasn’t lost on anyone in the room that each group often has their individual goals, especially as revenue and performance are frequently hand in hand. To quote Aristotle, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” We need to remember that this is one of the reasons that so many professionals were drawn to a career in sports.  From visiting interns to Pro Football Hall of Famer Will Shields, this message resonated throughout the event and beyond.

-         Self-development. Each of the numerous attendees made an effort to travel to Kansas City, devoting at least two days toward continuing education. It’s important to take care of the people that take care of others – in this case, it’s self-maintenance. Please continue to take care of yourself and each other as this school year starts. We are a support system and a community. To continue these conversations that were started, join the conversations on Twitter using the #SportExchangeSummit hashtag. If you’re new to the event and didn’t attend, review the hashtag to see the great comments and content.

Drug Free Sport will offer continuing educational opportunities, including our free webinar on Tuesday, August 23 on marijuana trends. For more information, including how to register, click here: bit.ly/2aL2zRE

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