Illinois Human Performance Project


The Human Performance Project is a nationally recognized program founded by 30 year human performance researcher and Olympic trainer, John Underwood. Partnering with the Veteran Navy SEALS of Applied Performance Sciences, the program’s message of healthy choices and positive leadership empowers students to hold one another accountable to decisions that lead to optimal performance.


John’s research on sleep, nutrition, substance use, mood, mindset, and recovery all show the impacts of these factors on an individual and group’s performance. Utilizing leadership skills such as communication, debriefing, conflict management, strategic planning, and more, gives students hands-on, practical application knowledge on how to lead their peers to making these healthy choices for the betterment of themselves, their school, and their community.

Although the program is also known as Life of an Athlete, the Illinois chapter of this national project targeted to all students, not just athletes. Living your best lifestyle pertains to academics, athletics, extra-curricular, and any type of performance.

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John Underwood is the founder of the Life of an Athlete Human Performance Project and was instrumental in designing the Human Performance Program for the US Navy SEAL Teams. A former NCAA All-American, International-level distance runner and World Masters Champion, John has coached or advised more than two dozen Olympians including World and Olympic Champions. He holds three International Olympic Solidarity diplomas for coaching and has appeared as a guest commentator for ABC Wide World of Sports. John has served as a human performance adviser to many high level sport federations including the NCAA, NHL, NBA, NFL, the U.S. Olympic Committee, Sport Canada and the International Olympic Committee.

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Applied Performance Sciences (APS) is dedicated to expanding the capacity for performance in human beings at the individual and organizational levels. Achieving peak performance in any discipline requires a specific set of conditions and specialized preparation—physical, mental, behavioral, and neurobiological. With a unique understanding of these factors, APS has developed methods for applying them to teams and individuals to maximize performance. Founded by US Navy SEALs and developed in conjunction with Olympic and professional sport coaches, Veteran Navy SEALS deliver content and training that is applicable to any environment in which peak performance is desired.

APS Website

Human Performance Project in Illinois

More about HPP in Illinois


Abbie Lee

Abbie is the Project Lead for IL HPP-led initiatives. She graduated from Ferris State University, in Big Rapids, MI, with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Speech Communication while she concentrated in both Public Advocacy and English Literature. She has always had a strong passion for working with an active nonprofit organization such as, OMNI Youth Services, and is excited for the work she will be doing with IL HPP. Abbie is looking forward to working alongside the prevention team to help encourage youth to live their best lives by making the best choices they can for themselves.

Erin Donlin

Erin is a Prevention Specialist with IL HPP who is highly driven to be the healthiest version of herself and desires to help others do the same. Her primary role is working with our local communities to help encourage, educate, and support youth, school staff and parents to live their best lives! She also helps to create social media content, host events and activities that support the community’s youth as well as participate in outreach to build connections and promote chapter development. Erin has a very diverse background and skillset starting with a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture, certification in health and life coaching, an eye for artistic creativity, and a passion for making a difference in the lives of those around her.

Julie Berry

Julie graduated from the Trinity International University with a bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry and is currently getting her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health. She is passionate in helping others find their true self so they are more fully alive and in turn, so is the world. She loves the heart behind the human performance project (HPP) because its foundational goal is to inspire toward optimal performance which include all the good stuff: positivity, healthy choices, accountability, and untapping your greatest potential.

Erika Hahn

Meet our newest Prevention Specialist, Erika! Erika graduated from Illinois State University in 2020, where she studied recreation and leisure management, along with community health promotion. She also received a minor in dance. Erika has always had a passion for moving her body, advocating for others, and an appreciation for learning about other cultures, which inspired her to enter the field of community health. Being able to advocate for adolescent well-being is what made her want to join the prevention team. When Erika isn’t working, you can find her at yoga, on the soccer field, in the dance studio, or on a hike. Erika is excited to utilize her creativity to find ways to connect with her communities and to promote the Prescription Playbook to parents, coaches, trainers, and adolescents.

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This work is made possible by OMNI Youth Services. Please visit their website to learn more about the variety of services they offer.

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