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Baylor Athletics Announces Baylor Built Character Formation Program

December 13, 2018

WACO, Texas — Baylor University Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades announced Thursday the launch of Baylor Built as part of the Character Formation pillar of the department vision - Preparing Champions for Life. An initiative led by Marcus Sedberry, Senior Associate AD for Student-Athlete Success, Baylor Built is a unique four-year, classification specific program which aims to ensure each student-athlete participates in at least 48-hours of character formation programming focused on holistically developing the student-athlete in the areas of career and leadership development, personal skills, social responsibility and community engagement, while integrating spiritual growth.

"Baylor Built serves as a blueprint for being a champion in all aspects of life,” said Sedberry. “This program provides student-athletes with the skills, knowledge, resources and tools they need to be successful far beyond their time at Baylor. We are committing to truly prepare our student-athletes to be champions for life.”

The Baylor Blueprint is a comprehensive 4-year program, that progresses student-athletes from foundational information in year one to formational education in year two, culminating with framing and finishing experiences in year three and year four, respectively. Each year student-athletes receive specific hours of character formation programming to aid in their holistic development.

Career development opportunities are offered to student-athletes sequentially, delivering class specific experiences to develop their skill sets and prepare them for a successful transition into their profession. The career development area is focused on providing career education, professional training and assisting student-athletes with job placement. Unique to the Baylor Blueprint is 1-on-1 career coaching for all student-athletes. Each team is assigned a career coach to aid student-athletes in their unique career exploration and development. Another primary focus is creating opportunities for Baylor student-athletes to connect with former letterwinners through the job shadowing and internship program and networking receptions. 

“As our student-athletes navigate their potential career paths, it is our goal to not only help them identify their desired career but more importantly find their calling,” said Cori Pinkett, Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development. “At Baylor we’ve designed programming and have resources to assist them in that process.”

Leadership Development opportunities are offered in a variety of formats to meet the diverse needs of student-athletes and their individualized leadership journeys. “We believe every student-athlete can influence and lead regardless of whether or not they have a defined leadership position,” said Sedberry. From the Leadership Institute and Leadership Retreat to Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, student-athletes learn timeless leadership principles to apply not only in their sports, but in every area of their lives. The Baylor Athletics Leadership Institute is an intensive 8-week program designed to equip influencers for maximum impact. Twenty-three student-athletes from 10 sports participated in the Leadership Institute with one student noting that it was “a great experience to learn about your own leadership style and how to be an effective and authentic leader on your team and outside your sport.” The 2-day Leadership Retreat challenged participants to explore who they are, identify their values and strengths and understand their ability to have influence without a formal position.

The Personal Skills area equips student-athletes with life skills that will contribute to developing their full potential. This includes a four-year financial literacy plan exploring everything from budgeting and saving to lifestyle transitions, insurance, benefits and taxes. In addition, the Character Formation department has partnered with Baylor Athletics Health & Wellness to address self-care topics including mental and personal health.

The Social Responsibility area seeks to emphasize and highlight the importance of treating people with respect in all aspects of life. From diversity and inclusion conversations to REAL Relationship Talks, this focal area aims to help student-athletes understand the value of cultural humility and their responsibility to their community. REAL Relationship Talks is a positive, proactive sexual assault prevention training that motivates and mobilizes student-athletes to develop healthy relationships and recognize signs of unhealthy relationships. Through the REAL Relationship Talks program, student-athletes are educated on tough topics through a unique interactive and dynamic model.

The community engagement area is focused on providing service opportunities to student-athletes in the local community, with specific focus placed on literacy, healthy lifestyles, poverty and human rights. Student-athletes can participate in experiences that directly meet the needs of the Waco community while advocating for worthy causes. Each student-athlete will complete 4 hours of community engagement a year, for a total of 16 hours by the time they graduate.

In conjunction with the Baylor Spiritual Life division, our newly developed Baylor Sports Ministry Team, led by Director of Sports Ministry, John Maurer, seeks to meet the needs of each Baylor team while also seeking to train and develop existing and new sport ministry leaders. This team will also be charged with helping our Character Formation office undergird all programming with biblical principles. In addition, our department has expanded our global service opportunities to include two multi-sport mission trips per year, as well as continuing to support team specific efforts. Since 2017, student-athletes from nine sports have participated in international mission trips to Brazil, Ghana, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and Mexico, with trips planned to Guatemala and South Africa during the 2018-19 academic year. 

“We aspire to lead the industry in character formation programming,” said Rhoades. “No other program in the country is preparing student-athletes with a holistic focus on their development in these five areas with spiritual growth as the foundation and cornerstone of the program.” 

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Discussion from...

Baylor Athletics Announces Baylor Built Character Formation Program

3,103 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by StatMan
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I'm starting out in a positive position, hoping this program will be successful after athletes get to campus.

If, however, this organization gets involved in the recruiting process, then I'm less than enthusiastic.
Any Trump
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I tend to get queasy over initiatives dealing with people that use the terminology of "programming."
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In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.
Any Trump
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Baylor Built character program introduction comes rather painfully at the time when a fellow named Anderson is getting all the Baylor press.
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Stan Mikita
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It looks like Baylor paid somebody $10,000 to produce a document with a bunch of shiny words. We are still getting killed at PR.
Doc Holliday
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'Character formation" kind of implies that BU Athletes have bad character that needs to be fixed...

How about "Professional Development Program"?
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." ~ John Adams
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Cultural humility must be focused on all male student-athletes at Baylor.
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