Windham County coaches learn connections between performance and substance abuse

BRATTLEBORO, Vt – Recently, 23 coaches from Windham County schools attended the Life of an Athlete (LOA) Coaches Clinic. The coaches at the training learned not only about improving performance of athletes, but also the impact of substance use on athletes. John Underwood, the founder of the Life of an Athlete-Pure Performance-Human Performance Project, facilitated the full day training. Underwood is a former NCAA All-American, international level distance runner, World Masters Champion, and was coached by legendary Bill Bowerman.

Coaches from schools around Windham County attended the “Life of an Athlete Coaches Clinic” at Winston Prouty Center. Photo provided

Underwood has been a crusader for drug-free sport at all levels. He is an internationally recognized human performance expert, specializing in recovery, peaking training and lifestyle impact on mental and physical performance. Underwood has worked extensively with Olympic and professional sports and with nearly all of the sport federations including the National Federation of High School Athletics, NCAA, NHL, NFL and the NBA. He has worked for three decades with the US & International Olympic Committees and Sport Canada and is a Human Performance Consultant for the Navy SEALS.

The LOA training was sponsored by the Windham County Partnership for Success- a collaboration of four Windham County substance abuse prevention coalitions including the Brattleboro Area Prevention Coalition, the Deerfield Valley Community Partnership, Greater Falls Connections and West River Valley Thrives.

Prevention coalitions employ multiples strategies to prevent youth substance use. Coaches are a critical partner in this mission, as they have an important role and influence in the lives of their student athletes. The LOA training covered human performance, training, and all the typical coaching topics, as well as substance abuse-how it affects athletes, promoting a “no use message,” as well as confronting behavior concerns.

The training was funded through the Vermont Department of Health – Division of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Programs Regional Prevention Partnerships grant.


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