Athletic Wellness in Illinois
Life of An Athlete: Athletic Wellness in Illinois
The Illinois Human Performance Project (IL HPP) is an organization dedicated to high school & middle school athletic wellness in Illinois. Our chapter is housed within the national program, Life of an Athlete Human Performance Project (LOAHPP). John Underwood, the founder of the national program, teaches how lifestyle decisions can impact your mental & physical performance. Through scientific research, we know that sleep, blue light, nutrition, drugs, alcohol, mood, & mindset all play a large role in how our bodies perform. LOAHPP developed this program in collaboration with veteran US Navy SEALs and founders of Applied Performance Sciences (APS) whose primary focus is leadership development. Through the combination of scientific research and leadership development, we are able to provide education to students, parents, & school personnel about enhancing their performance by identifying ways to build accountability and make healthy lifestyle choices.
Although the national program was originally designed for athletes, IL HPP targets all students, not just athletes. Students are challenged to empower their peers to set positive standards in health and leadership to achieve optimal performance. The implementation of the Human Performance Project may look different in every school. The power of this project is the way it can be adapted to fit the needs of each individual school and community that chooses to get involved with promoting a positive, healthy culture.
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.
Applied Performance Sciences
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.
Meet the IL HPP Team
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.
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.
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.
Armando Miranda graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2023 with a Masters in Community Health. He is dedicated to investing in youth and equipping them with the tools to make healthy life choices and contribute to their communities in meaningful ways.
Meet our newest Prevention Specialist, Paul! He graduated from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston IL last year with his master's in Community Health and Leadership, after studying healthcare administration and business administration. Paul has spent over ten years in healthcare and comes to OMNI with a passion for educating youth and making a change in our community. When he's not at work, you can find Paul hiking, kayaking, and doing anything outdoors! Paul is looking forward to building connections within Illinois communities to support OMNI's prevention efforts!
Meet our Digital Marketing Specialist! Allison graduated from DePaul University in Chicago with a major of Graphic Design. She excited to be on the team to spread positive messaging to make a difference on the youth and their communities.