Difference Makers Academy
Difference Makers Program
The Seven Difference Makers Program Measures of Success
1. Improve Grade Point Average & Scores on Tests
2. Increase Number of Students Taking the SAT/ACT & Improved
3. Increase Graduation Rate & Opportunities for Higher Education
4. Enhance Life Skills Development
5. Increase Opportunities for Community Service
6. Increase Parental & Family Involvement
7. Increase the signings of athletic scholarships
About Difference Makers Program
Difference Makers is an educational program established in 2010 by the Youth & community
Development Division of Rocky Mountain SER. The program's mission is to help young and older student-athletes take responsibility for their futures through lessons learned on the playing field, in the classroom, and in service to others. At the heart of the program is a year-round performance coach, an official member of a team's staff, who serves as a direct link to the classroom by helping players and the team set and achieve their academic and personal development goals during the entire school year. Learn more at www.rmser.org
The Difference Makers Coach
At the heart of the program is the Program Director "Performance Coach", equal parts mentor, advocate,
counselor, teacher, coach and friend. Each Performance Coach receives special training and support
from experts in the field. Their training includes the national conference, which annually attracts dozens of of the most knowledgeable speakers in the fields of sports and youth development.
The Performance Coach works with the student-athletes for the entire school year — in ways their head
coach can’t. The Performance Coach brings the kind of extra attention to the player's off-the-field development that most head coaches would like to provide if they had the time, training and resources. The head coach’s enthusiasm and support are essential to making each Performance Coach effective by giving him/her the same authority as the other assistant coaches.
Goal Setting and Positive Peer Pressure
It’s the Performance Coach’s job to turn each football team or other teams into a learning team, in the
process lifting grades, SAT scores, graduation rates and community service participation. Just like a backfield coach or a line coach, the Performances Coach is the head coach’s assistant who specializes in providing a continuing link to the academic side of school and the community. He/she helps the players
establish individual and team goals in key areas such as GPAs, SAT/ACT scores, graduation rates and college enrollment and college scholarships.
Football is a team sport and players can count on the support of their Performance Coach and their teammates throughout the entire school year. In fact, an Performance Coach’s ability to capitalize on the positive peer pressure of the team is one of the key reasons Difference Makers Program works.
Academic and Community Activities
The Academic Coach assists the head coach in establishing policies and procedures that will enable
student-athletes to achieve their individual goals as well as to meet the goals of the program. Specifically, Academic Coaches coordinate academic support services, SAT/ACT prep classes, study halls, life skill sessions, field trips to area colleges and other team building activities throughout the entire school year. Academic Coaches also meet one-on-one with each player, and often serve as their advocate with teachers, school personnel, parents and guardians.
Each year, Academic Coaches and players also "give back" to their communities through after-school activities by working in soup kitchens, retirement homes, orphanages and churches — or by serving as peer mentors, teachers and coaches for local youth groups and Special Olympians. Through this valuable work, players gain a sense of pride in themselves and their communities. These activities create opportunities for participants to test their leadership and organizational skills outside of sport while gaining confidence in their futures.
Throughout the year, Academic Coaches challenge players to set their sights high and plan for the future.
Whether by helping select a college, write a resume, conduct a job search or plan a campus visit, Academic Coaches equip students with the skills and the confidence they need to take the next big step beyond high school.