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Sports Medicine Health and Wellness Team ENHANCE/Team EXCEL

The University of Tennessee Sports Medicine Department offers its student-atheltes a variety of health and wellness support services. These services are coordinated by the Head Team Physician and the Director of Sports Medicine, and are provided through two main programs, Team ENHANCE and Team EXCEL.

Team ENHANCE

Team ENHANCE is a program for student-athletes that was developed by the Women's Athletic Department of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville to create a healthy culture in which student-athletes can thrive. The name of the program is an acronym for Enhancing Nutrition, Health, Athletic performance, Networking, Community, and Education. The program provides nutrition information and education about eating disorders and other mental/emotional health issues facing young women today. It also provides support groups; intervention; individual and family therapy; outpatient treatment; aftercare services; and referral to inpatient treatment when necessary. Team ENHANCE provides a full continuum of services to promote the well-being of the student-athlete. Student-athlete's participation is held in strict confidentiality. Participants benefit from the program's successful partnering relationships with experts in many fields - eating disorders specialists, mental health and addiction professionals, nutritionists, therapists, consultants, and authors.

Team EXCEL

Team EXCEL is a program for student-athletes that was developed by the Men's Athletic Department of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville to recognize the unique needs and demands on the student-athlete and aims to strengthen their overall mental health and well-being. This is accomplished through the provision of an array of integrated services addressing his or her physical, emotional, mental, educational and spiritual needs. This holistic approach to behavioral health services provides the student-athlete with the necessary skills to excel.

Wellness Education and In-Services

Through Team ENHANCE and Team EXCEL, student-athletes are provided with wellness education via in-services and group discussions. Wellness topics are designed to educate the student-athlete on general issues that are most commonly encountered. Topics may include the dynamics of peer pressure, alcohol awareness and education, the social, emotional, and physical impact of substance abuse, appropriate supplement use, hygiene, nutrition, life-skills, prevention education, information on domestic violence and general health guidelines.

Primary Behavioral Health Services

Team ENHANCE and Team EXCEL both provide core services that include substance abuse and mental health treatment through a multi-disciplinary team. Referrals for these services are generated and coordinated through the Head Team Physician. The Head Team Physician facilitates the integration of services as needed. Depending on the unique needs of the student-athlete, specialists in these areas are utilized to provide assessments and subsequent services if indicated. This integrated system allows for each student-athlete's physical and behavioral health needs to be evaluated and treated simultaneously. Services may include interventions for stress reduction, anger management, grief counseling, substance abuse, and mental health treatment. Primary behavioral health services are as follows:

  • Substance Abuse Screening - Student-athletes are screened for risk factors for substance abuse during wellness in-services, educational trainings, and pre-participation physicals.
  • Substance Abuse Counseling - On site assessment, prevention, intervention and treatment for substance abuse and dependence is provided through the Helen Ross McNabb Center (HRMC). The assessment results indicate the level of care that will most benefit the student-athlete. These levels of care include prevention education, outpatient treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, relapse prevention/refusal skills planning, and recovery support services. Referrals for more intense levels of care are also available.
  • Eating Disorder Screening/Assessments - An assessment is conducted by the team ENHANCE Coordinator or the Eating Disorders/Addictions Specialist in one-on-one sessions with the student-athlete to determine the nature and magnitude of the problem. All student-athletes considered 'at risk' will be referred to the team physician for a complete medical health screening. Psychotherapy services will be available to help an athlete begin the recovery process.
  • Psychiatric Services - Provided by a psychiatrist for diagnostic and treatment evaluations through the Helen Ross McNabb Center. Recommendations are provided to the Head Team Physician for review and referral as indicated. Medications are prescribed by the Head Team Physician to integrate primary and behavioral health medications. Follow-up consultations and evaluations are provided as needed.
  • Psychological Services - Available for student-athletes in need of individual psychotherapy. Treatment services are designed to address an array of needs including increasing coping skills, managing behavior, managing symptoms of anxiety or depression, and issues related to emotional aspects of injury and recovery.
  • Sports Medicine - Student-athletes' injuries and illnesses are cared for by a full-time staff of athletic trainers and physical therapists, as well as a variety of consulting physicians. All services are coordinated by the Director of Sports Medicine and Head Team Physician. This begins with an extensive pre-participation physical exam, including evaluation, treatment, rehabilitation and referrals. Both the physical and emotional/psychological aspect of injury recovery will be considered during all phases of the rehabilitation process.
  • Nutritional Services - Evaluations and counseling are provided by a registered dietitian. These services are designed to address the nutritional needs of each student-athlete and identify problem eating behaviors that may lead to more serious disorders. Problem eating behaviors include, but are not limited to, disordered eating and nutritional supplement education.
  • Athletic Physical Development - The University of Tennessee Strength and Conditioning Department provides student-athletes with in-season and off-season individualized training programs. These programs are designed to maximize the student-athletes' strength, speed, explosive power, flexibility and conditioning levels, while helping student-athletes become mentally tough during competition and minimize injuries.

Intercollegiate Support Services

Sports Psychology/Mental Training - Sports psychology services are provided in-house to help the student-athlete address performance related issues. The Director of Mental Training oversees sport psychology services to all student-athletes and teams. Housed in the state-of-the-art UT Mental Training Center, the program offers instruction and training in the mental aspects of sport performance including: goal-setting, intentional focus training, effective thinking, pressure coping, team building and competition preparation.

Thornton Athletics Student Life Center - Student-Athletes are provided with educational support and services through the Thornton Athletics Student Life Center. The Disability Needs Coordinator, learning specialists, and academic advisors work with the student-athlete to identify and diagnose education-impacting disabilities and provide the necessary support services for the student-athlete diagnosed with learning disorders and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) .

CHAMPS/Life Skills Program - The NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Program emphasizes five main components to help student-athletes develop holistically and to increase their opportunities for success in life beyond sport. The five areas of emphasis include commitment to academic excellence, commitment to athletic excellence, commitment to career development, commitment to personal development (leadership development), and commitment to community outreach. By helping student-athletes develop skills that can be utilized outside their athletic careers, the program seeks to prepare our student-athletes for the challenges they may encounter upon graduation. UT strives to help all student-athletes achieve an overall commitment to excellence by fostering individual development and providing an environment of total support.

Team Chaplain - Many student-athletes identify spirituality as a foundation for strength, and may choose the services of the Team Chaplain as an option. These services will focus on building successful relationships and decision making skills.

Team Members

Head Team Physician
Director of Sports Medicine
Psychiatrist
Clinical Psychologist
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Substance Abuse Counselor
Sports Psychologist
Sports Nutritionist
Disability Needs Coordinator
Thornton Academic Center Personnel
University of Tennessee Team Chaplain
Head Coaches
Sport Administrators
Athletic Director

Support Team Members

Vital parts of Team ENHANCE and Team EXCEL are the student-athlete's Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Athletic Trainer, Sport Administrator and Athletic Director. To ensure the most successful outcome for each student-athlete, services are tailored to include those persons identified by the student-athlete as most important to him or her.

For more information, please contact Dr. Chris Klenck, Head Team Physician, at (865) 974-1147 or via e-mail at cklenck@utk.edu

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