ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Alternatives) is a scientifically proven program for female athletes. ATHENA addresses the connection between young women in sports, disordered eating behaviors and body shaping drug use. Its multiple components provide healthy sports nutrition and strength-training alternatives to the use of alcohol, illicit and performance-enhancing drugs. ATHENA is peer-led and gender specific. It is interactive, engaging and easy to implement by coaches during the sport season.
A coach and selected student athletes called "Squad Leaders" lead the program. The program materials are completely scripted and easy to follow. Little or no preparation is needed. There are 8 sessions for ATHENA. Each session lasts 45 minutes. Sessions are typically scheduled once per week during the season on a "light" practice day. Coaches facilitate the program, keep athletes on task, and introduce and wrap up student-led activities. Squad Leaders provide a majority of the instruction for their small group of teammates. Sessions include role-plays, student-created campaigns or public service announcements and instructional, interactive games. Athletes practice goal setting and self-monitoring of nutrition behaviors. Students learn attitudes and skills that will help them make healthy choices in sports and throughout their lives. Read more about ATHENA at NREPP (National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices) site.