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Challenging Athletes' Minds for Personal Success

To better prepare student-athletes for any challenge they will encounter during and after college, the NCAA created the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program in 1991.

The idea is to enhance and further develop the individual student-athlete's ability to cope with demands that arise during the collegiate experience. In addition, the program will aid in preparing the individual for success in his/her future career. The NCAA provides the program with materials and resources to help the student-athlete in five major areas:

NCAA's mission is "to maintain intercollegiate athletics as an integral part of the student body" and "to enhance the quality of the student-athlete experience within the university setting." 

Today, the NCAA Education Outreach staff oversees the program and actively provides services, support and programs. The mission of Education Outreach is:

''To provide services and support to the membership, public and media to develop and enhance the life of the student-athlete through educational programs and resources focusing on gender equity, student-athlete welfare and life skills.''

At Mercer University CHAMPS is a joint offering of the University Athletics Department and the Academic Resource Center. The program's coordinator and academic advisor has an office in the Academic Resource Center.

I'm an athlete. How can CHAMPS help me?

CHAMPS was specifically created to help you! The CHAMPS Coordinator will help you succeed in your academic field, as well as on the athletic field. The program intends to assist your intellectual development and consequently make you aware of your environment so you can enhance your performance in any walk of life. 

If you, a student-athlete, have any problems, questions, or concerns during your experience at Mercer, do not hesitate to talk to the CHAMPS Coordinator, Heather Manting, in her office in the Academic Resource Center.

CHAMPS Success Story

Student Athlete Max RookeMercer soccer player Max Rooke from Reading, England, had a tremendous season in 2001. It all started in the summer when Rooke was one of only 18 players to represent Great Britain in the World University Games in Beijing. The selection process for the Games began 1 1/2 years earlier with trials throughout England.  To get to know each other better as a team, the British squad played three friendly games in England before taking off to Hong Kong to play two more games in a week. Finally, the team arrived in Beijing to play in the championships that lasted two weeks. Rooke and his team mates had a very busy schedule with six games in 12 days.

Although it was very intense during this period, and rest was important, the players still had some time to go sightseeing. Max says that the landmarks in China were fantastic and that he is fortunate to have seen the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and more. "This was truly an experience of a lifetime," says Max. "It is the greatest achievement in my life so far."   The British team finished 7th out of 16 teams.

During the World University Games, which is the largest event after the Olympics, Max stayed in the Olympic village with other players from all over the world. "I feel that I appreciate other cultures more now than I did before, because of this experience.

Meeting so many people from so many different places was very positive." Max said.  Upon his arrival in Macon, Max went straight into the Mercer soccer season. He helped the Bears win their second conference title in three years, a title won when Mercer defeated Florida Atlantic. To top it all off, Max was awarded Conference Player of the Year! "It has been an amazing year, I love it and I do not want it to end!" He does not know what the future holds, but he would like to play professional soccer and possibly become a teacher and a coach later on.

Max has a connection to the CHAMPS program from his freshman and sophomore year. In his UNV 101 class, each student was assigned a Bear Buddy, which meant every freshman had a "big brother/big sister." Max feels that the CHAMPS program and the UNV 101 course, which was tailored especially to athletes, were every helpful in introducing him to Mercer.

The CHAMPS office, located in the Academic Resource Center, encourages athletes' sense of academic environment and fuels the desire to learn and achieve more. A true hard worker and a great athlete, Max Rooke certainly deserves his success in 2001. Mercer is proud to have had such an outstanding chap to represent the school.  Well done, Max!