Knox has established the Pathways for Elite Athletes at Knox (PEAK) program to assist high performing student athletes to achieve excellence in sport, whilst achieving their best in the academic environment.
Mr Kieran Donohue, Pathways for Elite Athletes at Knox Chairman
The PEAK Program for state and national level youth athletes currently attending (or planning to attend) Knox is designed to assist students to effectively transition into a professional sporting environment once they leave school.
"PEAK plays an important role in educating and preparing student-athletes for the expectations and demands of professional sport by providing guest speakers, small group workshops, inquiry-based learning experiences and one-on-one mentoring sessions." - Mr Kieran Donohue, PEAK Chairman
After an internal review of the Knox Sports and Aquatics Academy sports offerings, it was ascertained that the physical literacy, foundational movement and sport-specific skills of Knox students was largely well catered for. However, from a pathways perspective, there was minimal focus on educating and preparing student-athletes for the expectations and demands of professional sport once students graduate from Knox.
Utilising Sport Australia’s Foundations, Talent, Elite and Mastery (FTEM) framework, which tracks the major phases of athlete development from the foundation of active lifestyles and sport participation, through to mastery of the chosen sport at the international level, it was determined that our focus needed to be on the talent phases, with a key outcome being more students progressing through to the elite and mastery phases of national and international sporting success.
"Each PEAK student-athlete also receives an individual performance plan tailored to their needs and the demands of their sport."
This includes support with:
In developing the PEAK program, key ‘athlete desirables’ were developed based upon the four key pillars of the Knox Total Fitness Model. The curriculum is delivered in a sequential manner, with focus on a different pillar of the Total Fitness Model each term.
Term 1 focusses on academic fitness. This theme is crucial for our students as it is lays the foundations to ensure that our students are equipped for the year. This is achieved through learning about effective time management and goal setting, ability to balance responsibilities and effective study habits.
We believe that the timing of this theme is crucial as it enables our students to have the capability to fully engage in the content as it is layered in complexity throughout the year.
Term 2 unpacks the physical development of our students, including functional strength, nutritional practices, effective preparation and recovery, and understanding injury management rehabilitation and Pre-Operative Rehabilitation. The aim of this term is to develop the student’s capabilities in order to achieve their chosen sport’s benchmarks. Effectively, we’re equipping the students with the knowledge and tools to train smarter not just harder.
Term 3 content relates to spiritual and personal fitness. Throughout the program the students will develop competency in leadership, giving and receiving feedback, performance skills and be educated on burn out, life after sport and the athlete identity transition. This is where we shape the athlete identity as only one piece of the puzzle and develop those crucial life skills to assist the students to ride the highs and lows of an athletic career.
Term 4 involves students exploring social and emotional fitness. This covers overcoming adversity, resilience, decision making, performing under pressure, ‘coach-ability’, respect and responsibility. A large part of this unit will focuses on self-regulation as this is an imperative skill for any athlete to succeed.
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