2015 UCF Football Feature: Player Development

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(upbeat rock music) – Five years ago, I was
presented with the opportunity to move over to player development. Helping these young men
transition into the program, have a great time here, and then obviously transitioning out of the
program into the real world. – Basically, anything outside of football or academics, she’s involved in. All of the social life stuff,
community service events. She’s the one getting
the players to those, making sure they’re participating in them. – I think community
service plays a huge role. I think one, because you
looking at a local community and these are the same people
that are at your games. That are supporting you. That are proud of you. They do a lot of our
service with young students. Whether it’s young kids
from two, three years old up through middle school. They idolize these players. This is who they want to be, so whether it’s sitting
with a preschool class and reading another story. That’s fun for them. It’s not community work. One, they’re building a
resume and getting these great experiences, but they’re also giving back. – When you come in as a freshman, you’re not thinking about
doing community service and things like that for other people. As you give some of those
developmental things, it opens your mind up
to helping other people and seeing how important that is. – A huge part of her job is dealing with the players
social media accounts. As much as you try to
teach and educate the guys about how to treat that stuff, how to handle it, what to say on there, it’s still every day
checking in on those accounts to make sure they’re doing
what they’re supposed to be doing and anything that does come up out of the ordinary, she jumps right on it to make sure it’s taken care of. – I’ve had a couple serious
conversations with her talking about how she cares about our well-being, how she
cares about what we put out to the media and how we carry ourselves. She really cares about us as people, not just players. She’s one of those people
that actually cares about you and wants you to be successful. – The student athlete journey is so much bigger than they even know. But for me the college experience is yes, it’s football. Yes, it’s winning games. Yes, it’s winning championships, and yes, it’s getting a college degree that you’re extremely proud of, but so much of it is all the other stuff that comes with it. It’s the adversity. It’s the dealing with the time management. It’s learning things about yourself. It’s being pushed
athletically and academically so much further than
they ever even imagined that they could push. And coming out on the other side as a man. And before they know it, they realize, oh my goodness,
I am ready to get into the real world, and then they come back six weeks, six months later and say all these life lessons. Keeping well groomed and keeping a low haircut, and being 15 minutes early for everything. And shaking my professor’s hands and looking him in the eye. All of these life
lessons are little things that we ingrain in them
when they’re 17 years old that by the time they’re 22, 23, it’s natural and they’re
so much more prepared for the rest of their lives.

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