Thompson Rivers University

Picking up the PACE with student-athletes

  Posted on: November 6, 2017

PACE peer leader and volleyball player Kaitlin Lomas said, “Other student-athletes can appreciate how intense the schedules can be, so there is a unique and centralized rapport amongst the WolfPack.”

Between classes, assignments, exams, practices, workouts and game days, the student-athlete schedule is action-packed. The PACE program was implemented to support the academic elements of the student athlete’s life and ensure that grade-point-averages don’t suffer. Through peer mentorship and institutional resources in an informal academic environment, PACE gives WolfPack student-athletes the “Pack ACademic Edge.”

The Monday night PACE study sessions are designed specifically for first-year student-athletes, so they can carve out consistent times to study, ask questions, identify concerns and strategize for the upcoming week. Hosting PACE sessions at the start of the week sets a precedent, creates structure and generates study time. Each semester offers opportunities for group or one-on-one study sessions.

PACE leaders are senior student-athletes who have trained in referral and academic success strategies. Leaders offer support and guidance, and provide one-on-one tutoring. Upon graduation, coaches and PACE leaders nominate other student-athletes to take their place.

Psychology major, volleyball player and PACE peer leader Kaitlin Lomas said, “Other student-athletes can appreciate how intense the schedules can be, so there is a unique and centralized rapport amongst the WolfPack.”

“From scheduling to problem-solving, PACE leaders can help with whatever the individual requires. Sometimes we just chat about coping strategies and how to balance everything.”

Sara Wolfe, PACE Coordinator and Assistant Dean of Students remarked, “Kaitlin is a great fit for the PACE team. She’s a natural leader who is willing to take risks, try new things and support her fellow student-athletes.”

“It’s amazing to see the student-athletes working together during these sessions. The informal support between teammates is heartwarming. There is a collective understanding of how difficult the balancing act can be,” Sara continued.

The average student-athlete routine consists of three to five classes, two or more weekly workouts, four practices and one to two individual practices. “It’s a full-time job that can be physically and mentally draining,” Kaitlin remarked.

The weekends can be exceptionally hectic. “Game days are busy; you’re traveling and practicing and playing. I do a lot of studying at airports and on planes. As a PACE leader, you encourage others to work on the road.”

Kaitlin often takes advantage of whatever spare time she has, referencing Quizlet—a flash card app—as a useful tool. “Routine is key and time management is crucial.”

Originally from Ponoka, Alberta, Kaitlin was recruited to the WolfPack in the eleventh grade. Currently focusing on Honors Psychology in the 2017/2018 academic year, Kaitlin advises other student-athletes, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Listen to the advice of your tutors, coaches, teachers and teammates. They have your best interests in mind.”

Click the link for more information about the PACE program.