While students at Ithaca College were home for summer vacation, the Office of Intercollegiate Athletics compiled and released the Optimum Performance Strategy webpage. The webpage puts all of the resources that student-athletes are entitled to in one place.
The athletics office launched the Optimum Performance Strategy webpage on its website. The webpage has six columns that pertain to a different theme of resources. The themes include nutrition, physical training, sports psychology, sports medicine, leadership and life skills. Within the categories are different resources, including the Eat to Compete web portal and a page that shows all guest speakers and special events for athletes.
Susan Bassett, associate vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports, said that the webpage has been something that she has hoped to do for awhile, and the goal was to let the student-athletes know all the resources they had in their possession.
“We have always been committed to doing comprehensive educational programming for student–athletes,” Bassett said. “What is fundamental to our philosophy is that participation in our athletics is an educational experience, so we want students to learn how to take care of themselves, how to make good choices and how to eat properly and sleep properly.”
Bassett said the athletics office started the project after the 2017–18 academic year and started making progress after hiring Erienne Roberts, associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator. Bassett said she felt that the project would be beneficial because she wanted to have a more cohesive way for student-athletes to be able to identify their resources and felt that having a webpage would do this perfectly.
The webpage was put on pause during the 2018–19 academic year, but in June, the group added Associate Director Justin Lutes, Head Athletic Trainer Mike Matheny and Vic Brown, strength and conditioning head coach, to the planning team to help bring the project to reality. They also gathered various athletes and coaches and used their feedback to finalize the database.
Roberts said that developing the program at the college was easier than she anticipated because most of the resources were already offered, so it was just a matter of putting them all together.
“Since most things were already in place, we just wanted to create an easy, one-stop–shop,” Roberts said.
Head volleyball coach Johan Dulfer said the webpage provides an example of how the college hopes to shape Bomber athletes beyond competition.
“Athletics is much more than what you see on the court or on the field or in the pool,” Dulfer said. “We are not just in the business of winning games, we are representing Ithaca and teaching life lessons in the process. There is so much that comes into that — Ithaca College has a lot of great resources, and I think this wraps it up.”
Dulfer said that he plans on using the webpage as a recruiting tool for prospective athletes in the future.
Senior golfer Peyton Greco, who is a co-chair for the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, said the website will allow student-athletes to see their resources in a much more organized way.
“Whether student–athletes are incoming freshmen or outgoing seniors, I think this website touches on a number of important resources that can be used by everyone in the athletic community,” Greco said.
Senior gymnast Elyse Ryden, who is also a co-chair on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, said she is excited about the access to the nutrition and sports psychology tabs on the website.
“All IC athletes are provided with education on both topics, but the webpage combines the main information we are presented within a concise way that’s easy for us to find,” Ryden said.
Bassett said that developing the website shows how committed the college is to helping its athletes excel in all facets of their lives.
“We have a championship mindset here, which is that we always want to improve and strive to be better than we were before,” Bassett said. “I hope that this webpage shows people that we have a thirst for knowledge, we are committed to continuous learning and that it starts with the administration and the coaching staff and that it pervades through the entire department.”