Improving the Student-Athlete Experience through Technology

November 11, 2014

The implications of going to college are well known throughout the country (and world, for that matter). As an example, on average, people who go to college earn 65 percent more over their lifetime compared to those who do not.

From a student-athlete’s perspective, it is well known that less than one percent of all NCAAå student-athletes end up going pro in their respective sport. The implication: the value of the degree and the experience as a student-athlete will far outweigh what is accomplished on the field or on the court.

Over the past 18 months, college athletics headlines have been dominated by student-athlete welfare and student-athlete experience stories. Clearly, the economics of college athletics are a part of this discussion, but what is often placed second are the on-campus experiences of the student-athlete.

Athletic departments have been focused on innovative ways to assist their student-athletes as they perform both in the classroom as well as prepare for their transition into the workforce.

For example, many athletic departments are turning to technology solutions to enhance student-athlete development. Game Theory Group (GTG), is the first of its kind to provide technology to athletic departments uniquely assisting student-athletes as they transition from high school, into college and ultimately into the workforce. Schools use GTG’s proprietary online system called Game Plan, for a wide variety of assessment tools and eLearning modules. This software assists the athletic department to provide comprehensive student-athlete development tools, covering various stages of development including transition from high school to college, leadership development and ultimately career development.

“Game Plan helps to extend the reach of an athletic department to help each student-athlete reach their academic and career goals,” Vin McCaffrey, CEO of GTG, said. “Game Plan’s assessments and eLearning lessons walk a student-athlete through each stage of transition and ultimately put them in the best light to be recruited into the workforce.”

The biggest question many college students overlook throughout their time in school is “how will this help me get a job?” That is where GTG steps in to help student-athletes and make it easy for them. A complement of Game Plan, Game Plan Pro connects student-athletes to GTG’s corporate partners that are looking for highly-qualified entry-level job candidates.

“Student-Athletes have transferable skills that resonate in the workforce: persistence, team focus, goal oriented, they receive feedback well. Employers are focused on skills that translate and student-athletes have a great story to tell as it relates to those soft skills every employer is interested in.”

The NCAA has always evaluated athletic departments on their ability to ensure their student-athletes make grades above a certain threshold and meet other requirements to stay eligible. With more and more academics becoming self-proclaimed “pracademics” (industry term meaning to view everything in a real-world, practical lens), is it too much of a stretch to evaluate the institution based on career development and placement?

GTG’s unique platform underscores the need for continued investment in student-athlete development. Skills cultivated in practice and in games are incredibly valuable in the workplace, so providing a platform to connect athletes with that skill set to companies looking for talent is just one example of how technology can positively impact student-athletes.


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