Related Links


Student-Athlete Development Program

Student-Athlete Development Overview:

The Student-Athlete Development Program (formerly Roo Life Skills Program) is designed to support the development of a well-balanced lifestyle for UMKC's student-athletes, encouraging holistic well-being, personal and academic growth, mature decision making skills, and a commitment to the campus and surrounding community. The program strives to support student-athlete development in five areas: academics, athletics, personal development, career development and community service.

Student-Athlete Development Commitment Areas:

  • Academic Excellence - To support the academic progress of the student-athlete toward intellectual development and graduation.

  • Athletic Excellence - To build philosophical foundations for the development of athletic programs that are broad-based, equitable and dedicated to the well-being of the student-athlete.

  • Personal Development - To support the development of a well balanced lifestyle for student-athletes, encouraging emotional well-being, personal growth, and decision making-skills.

  • Career Development - To encourage the student-athlete to develop and pursue career and life goals.

  • Community Service - To engage the student-athlete in service to his/her campus and surrounding community.

Student-Athlete Development Programming:

  • Performance Team - this team has been created to assist in the personal and athletic development of the Kangaroo student-athlete. The education and assistance are supported by a team of talented athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, and life skill coordinators. The Performance Team Programming gives student-athletes and coaches the opportunity to gather information to support a healthy lifestyle and achieve optimum athletic performance. 
  • StepUP! Bystander Intervention Programming - UMKC Athletics is tackling social issues through a bystander intervention program called Step UP! Developed by the University of Arizona’s Athletics Life Skills Department to counter problems that their student-athletes were facing, Step UP! teaches students pro-social behaviors to safely intervene in difficult and uncomfortable situations, specifically addressing the topics of alcohol, academics, depression, anger, discrimination, disordered eating, gambling, hazing, relationship abuse, and sexual assault.

  • MyPlaybook - Through its partnership with DrugFree Sport, UMKC Athletics provides the MyPlaybook programming for all student-athletes.  MyPlaybook is an interactive, web-based program, student-athletes engage in educational activities focusing on alcohol and other drug abuse education.

  • Seminars - life skills programming sponsors guest speakers to address the student-athletes and spirit groups during each academic year. Guest speakers are asked to address personal development and social issues.   Featured speakers have included:
    • Janet Judge
    • Bob Beaudine
    • Jeff Janssen Leadership Academy
    • Eric Smith
    • Dr. Derek Greenfield
    • Dr. Linda Hancock 

  • Roo Life Skills Challenge - the former Roo Life Skills Challenge is a competition between every team throughout the school year. Student-athletes earn points by attending events and participating in community/campus service during the year. Each team competes in six areas: Roos Supporting Roos, Community Outreach, Personal Development, Academic Success, SAAC Involvement, and Athletic Achievement. At the end of the year, the points will be totaled and the winner of the Roo Life Skills Challenge will be crowned at orientation.  Past winners:
    • 2014-15: Women's Soccer
    • 2013-14: Women's Soccer
    • 2012-13: Women's Soccer
    • 2011-12: Women's Soccer
    • 2010-11: Women's Soccer
    • 2009-10: Softball 

  • Academic Workshops - the Student-Athlete Support Services Office (SASSO) hosts monthly workshops to enhance the academic skill level of our athletes. SASSO also coordinates with UMKC's Academic Support and Mentoring which welcomes the participation of student-athletes in their academic success programming.
    • Examples of Workshops:
      • WEPT Preparation
      • Note Taking
      • Time Management
      • Organization
      • Test Anxiety
      • Stress Management
      • Learning Styles
      • Motivation

  • SAAC - The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is a committee comprised of one-two student-athletes from each team (including spirit squads) at UMKC. They are assembled to provide insights on the student-athlete experience. The SAAC offers input on NCAA regulations and policies, and also plans a variety of community outreach and social events.  The 2018-19 SAAC Executive Board is:
    • Anna Lillig (Women's Soccer) President
    • Brandon McKissic (Men's Basketball) Vice President
    • Alli Schomers (Volleyball) Events Liaison
    • Lexie Howard (Women's Soccer) Secretary
    • Paige Husa (Women's Basketball) Athletics Council Rep

  • Career Development - One of the goals of the SASSO Life Skills program is to provide career guidance for both current and former UMKC student-athletes.  SASSO is committed to supporting and encouraging student-athletes at all points in their career development.  The partnerships with UMKC's Career Services and Athlete Network have been developed to best prepare current student-athletes for life after college.

  • Summer Bridge Program - Each summer SASSO designs and teaches academic skills to incoming freshman and transfer student-athletes that arrive on campus the summer prior to full time enrollment. These students are given valuable information to help them adjust to their new college setting. Topics range from campus tours to academic skills to sports nutrition.

  • Community Service Partnerships - Community service is strongly encouraged, and UMKC Athletics feels strongly in the value of giving back to Kansas City and the UMKC campus. SASSO has formed several partnerships in the community and encourages teams and individuals to get involved. These partnerships include:
    • Habitat for Humanity
    • ReStore KC
    • Morning Glory Cafe
    • Center Middle School
    • YMCA
    • Children's Mercy
    • Special Olympics
    • Turn the Page KC
    • Berkley Child and Family Development Center
    • The Gardens on Barry Road
    • Boys and Girls Club

  • Transition ProgramThe  Transition Programming is offered to all incoming freshman and  transfer student-athletes. It is designed to assist student-athletes in their transition from high school and junior college to UMKC and collegiate level athletics. It focuses on topics such as study skills, note taking, reading, college level writing, major and career exploration, mental wellness, and sports nutrition.


Roos vs. Hawks: Roos hang on to a 1-0 lead
Roos and Jackrabbits Tie in Exhibition
Giraldo Gains Experience in Top-Level Tournaments
Exclusive Live & On-Demand Audio and Video