BATON ROUGE - Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes' Director of Academic Affairs Walt Holliday, and facilitated by Associate Director James Chiarchiaro and football Academic Advisor Jason Shaw created Students With A Game Plan (SWAG) with a vision to assist first year football student-athletes in their acclamation to LSU during their first fall semester.
This developmental course focuses on the transition to college living and learning while educating student-athletes on healthy lifestyle decisions.
"SWAG has afforded us the opportunity to enhance the freshman transition experience that is unique to our football student-athletes at Louisiana State University," Shaw said. "Through a detailed curriculum that is supplemented with guest speakers, we are able to assist them in their personal growth and the development of a solid academic/personal foundation that will introduce skill sets and reinforce behavior that can promote success in and out of the classroom."
A major part of this program is that there are guest speakers from different parts of the LSU community. Each speaker represents the foundational goals of this course.
The goals of this course are to assist in the transition to LSU, introduce student-athletes to the vast amount of resources available at the University, to aid the academic skill development, to help set realistic personal, academic and career related goals, to educate student-athletes on NCAA, SEC and LSU rules and regulations for athletic eligibility and to develop an appreciation for and an awareness of cultural diversity and civic engagement.
"Collegiate student-athletes typically have a lot on their plate," said Jamie Mascari, LSU Coordinator of Sports Nutrition. "Plate refers to their busy daily schedule consisting of classes, team meetings, workouts, practices, study hall, community service, and other extra-curricular activities. A program that includes a nutrition education aspect can help student-athletes plan and build a healthy 'food plate' which will fuel their bodies and mind, bettering their performance both on the field and in the classroom."
"SWAG is an excellent resource for all of our football student-athletes, "said Verge Ausberry, LSU Senior Associate Athletics Director. "We have highly trained staff dedicated to the intellectual growth and personal development of our student-athletes. The program assists all of our freshman football student-athletes with navigating LSU and beyond through narratives, workshops and exercises."
At the end of this course, student-athletes are required to write a two-page paper explaining the overall experience, and what they have learned through their participation in SWAG.
"Last semester SWAG was good for me because I learned to make an academic plan to do my work efficiently and effectively," said freshman linebacker Kwon Alexander.
Freshman safety Corey Thompson said, "SWAG was very effective. I have learned how to incorporate the lessons from the classroom to on the field."