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‘One Team’ Theme Sweeps Campus

11/25/15

What do you get when you combine a great idea and a catchy slogan with social media? For MCLA’s Athletics Department, the answer is its “One Team” initiative, which is spreading quickly throughout the campus, and includes not just student-athletes, but others in virtually every department.

Brought to MCLA by Laura Mooney, who joined the campus last spring when she stepped into her new position as the director of athletics, the “One Team” theme aims to inspire and encourage all students to excel and achieve their best – not just by themselves, but together.

The effort is part of Mooney’s “3-2-1” vision for her student-athletes. She wants each of them to earn and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average, to rank in the top two of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) for their sport, and to function as one team.

“It’s our new vision and mission for the Athletics Department,” Mooney said.

Since she arrived last April, Mooney has been busy getting to know all the student-athletes on campus. Although she introduced the “One Team” theme almost immediately, the effort to involve the students took off in earnest at the start of the fall semester, when she welcomed all of the student-athletes to campus, met each of them face-to-face, and formally presented the 3-2-1 vision she holds for them.

Since then, the 3-2-1 concepts that make up the “One Team” ideal have proven to be quite popular on campus.

“It’s funny, because we got shirts made up with #OneTeam on the back. Now, you’ll see other T-shirts on campus with ‘#OneTeam’ on them. And, you’ll see it on various publications on campus that don’t come out of Athletics. People are using it,” Mooney said.

“It’s not just Athletics, it’s the College as a whole. I was so thrilled when someone from student life hung a flyer up on our bulletin board recently, and it included the ‘OneTeam’ hash tag. It had nothing to do with us, so it was great to see that other people are buying in,” Mooney said.

While it’s too soon to see where the student-athletes’ grades will end up this semester, Mooney said she’ll consider where each team is academically and do whatever it takes – whether it’s a need for additional study hall hours, time in the Center for Student Success and Engagement, or participation in a mentor program already in place – to help any teams or individual student-athletes who may be at-risk of falling short of the 3.0 GPA goal.

And although the effort will take time to become completely implemented, Mooney strives to make sure each student-athlete is doing his or her best – both on and off the playing fields and courts.

“I like to think that I know a good portion of our athletes,” Mooney said. “I’ve been to home and away matches for almost every single one of our fall teams, making sure that I have a presence – not only within the Department and staff, but with student-athletes.”

She added, “The kids are really embracing ‘One Team.’ It’s something that they hear often. It’s really catching on, and it’s a great thing, because – bottom line – Athletics is about teamwork, which translates to the real world. You can’t be successful in your job if you can’t work with others. We’re trying to push some of those life skills early on.”