Oct 6, 2020
Teambuildr Key for Penn Athletic Department

As was the case for nearly every collegiate athletic program in the country, the University of Pennsylvania was forced to pivot in keeping student-athletes in shape during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking for a way to stay connected with their student-athletes, the Quakers strength and conditioning coaches looked to Teambuildr to track exercises and help faculty and students engage and identify their needs.

Photo: Angela Radulescu / Creative Commons

In a new story in the Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn strength coach Cory Walts introduced the program and explained how it became a necessity during the restrictive in-person protocols during the coronavirus pandemic.

“[TeamBuildr] provides a routine, it provides structure, it provides quality content. Not only do we put in exercise routines, we put in nutritional information, mental health, and mental performance information. We have health questionnaires to have an assessment of how individuals are doing from a physical and mental standpoint on a daily [basis].

“We can have this communication system with the athletes so we can make sure that they’re maintaining not just their physical but [also] mental wellness during this time when they’re not with us. Even though there’s not a competition currently, we still want to enhance their health and wellness, so it’s a tool to help do that,” Walts told the Daily Pennsylvanian.

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Below is an excerpt from the story on how TeamBuildr positively affected the Penn athletic department in 2020.

Field hockey senior Erin Kelly has been using the app since its implementation in fall 2019.

“Before we started TeamBuildr, there was a little bit of hesitation to go all-in with an exercise because we were missing that mental component that TeamBuildr has incorporated, which was to take care of yourself and push yourself but within [the limits of] where your body is that day,” Kelly said.

Athletes are encouraged by the support that they have received from faculty to engage with TeamBuildr and get the support that they need on and off the field. The app has not only changed the way that teams are able to interact with each other, but also how coaches are able to support their teams.

“People were able to be honest because they knew that it meant a conversation to better themselves, whether it was with [Walts] or with our coaches, and that they were really engaged with understanding ‘Why are you feeling this [way]?'” Kelly said.

Volleyball coach Meredith Schamun similarly spoke about the role that coaches have taken in transitioning to life with TeamBuildr.

“Our role has become more of a guiding light for teams. [Coaches are] someone that [athletes] can turn to and talk to not volleyball or any other sport but just about how they’re doing with school, how their families are doing, how they’re getting by day-to-day because we don’t have the sports that we typically have,” Schamun said. “Teambuildr has taken the place of whatever we would do as a team, [and] it gives them an avenue to continue to take care of themselves and [give them] some guidance as they’re trying to navigate these times as athletes.”

To read the full story from the Daily Pennsylvanian on the Penn athletic department getting the most out of the Teambuildr app during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here

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