William Smith Herons—more powerful as a whole than as a sum of its parts – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

William Smith Herons—more powerful as a whole than as a sum of its parts

A program implemented on the campus of Hobart and William Smith Colleges simultaneously promotes athletic ability and academics.

July 19, 2002
GENEVA, N.Y.—”William Smith Athletics has always been about more than winning,” said Susan Bassett, director of athletics at William Smith College, in conjunction with the announcement of the Peak Performance Plan, a program recently designed by the William Smith Athletics Department to enhance the healthy lifestyles of student-athletes.

The Plan, designed by Bassett and the coaching staff, is designed to help student-athletes achieve peak performance in their academic and professional lives as well as in athletics. Focusing on wellness of mind and body, the program uses four components to promote physical and intellectual well-being in women and healthy lifestyle choices with an emphasis on the prevention of eating disorders.

The plan consists of:

  • An evaluation of the student-athlete’s physical health and an evaluation of her lifestyle choices, including:
    – wellness programming in which she learns nutrition, and eating disorders
    – programming designed to address issues of time management, training, leadership skills, and preparation for life after college
  • Core 20 peer facilitators, student-athletes who act as peer facilitators within their teams, work with coaches, captains, and the athletics advisory council on issues of wellness and team cohesiveness such as:
  • – a wellness intervention plan that enables teammates to help those they feel are making unhealthy decisions

    – ensuring that teammates care for themselves and for others

  • Continuing education for coaching staff. Those who coach sports at William Smith are provided with educational opportunities on campus and off campus and a chance to share their experiences with others on the coaching staff
  • Conventional, sport-specific training regimen designed to keep student-athletes in Peak Performance condition

These components of the Peak Performance Plan, in addition to more traditional athletic training, are part of a progressive approach to training and educating William Smith student-athletes for successful, healthy lives.

“The Peak Performance Plan promotes effective communication, accountability, responsibility, education, and teamwork,” says recent William Smith graduate and Core 20 member Kelly VanGorden.

“Having a program like the Peak Performance Plan to increase our communication, we have greatly developed our athletics program and have created a community defined by excellence and wellness,” said VanGorden, of Geneva, N.Y., a record-holder at William Smith with four NCAA championship meet appearances. She will attend Springfield College in Springfield, Mass., for graduate studies this fall.

The William Smith athletics program is comprised of 10 teams with outstanding records, including appearances in the NCAA quaterfinals by the field hockey, lacrosse, and soccer teams, and 27 All-Academic Awards earned by William Smith student-athletes this past year.

Hobart and William Smith Colleges are coordinate, private, liberal arts institutions, located in Geneva, N.Y., the heart of the Finger Lakes region. Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women share faculty, facilities, and curriculum, but maintain separate dean's offices, athletics programs, student governments, and traditions.