Project Description

“The Mindset of Champions”

Florida Atlantic University

“There is a correlation in sports with the amount of leadership that is present in your culture and your ability to win in all facets of a program. We talk about winning. Winning in academics, in the weight room, in practice – it’s a championship mindset.”
Vice President and Director of Athletics, Pat Chun outlines Florida Atlantic University’s athletic department’s holistic “winning” philosophy.

Pat Chun came to Florida Atlantic University (FAU) five years ago, in 2012, from Ohio State University. He leads FAU’s athletic department, which boasts 19 sports teams, 450 student-athletes and 150 staff members, and with him, Chun brought the belief that “if the culture is right, results will follow.”

As Chun took the helm, he assessed the dynamic and culture of the department. “When I arrived here five years ago this was a failed athletic program. We had one team with a winning record. The grade point average was at 2.6. There are two important markers per the NCAA, one is your Graduation Success Rate (GSR), the other is your Academic Progress Rate (APR). Our Graduation Success Rate was at 66%, and our APR had three teams at a level 1 warning for NCAA probation... So, this was a rebuild, ground up.”

Realizing that the team needed direction and vision, Chun got to work developing the culture within the department.

Chun notes, “We know the culture we aspire to have. It’s always a battle to stay focused on the task of constantly adhering to that culture. We want a cohesive team that is highly communicative, that is results driven, that cares about each other, that understands our purpose and mission with student-athletes. It’s about having the profound understanding that who we are, and how we behave, is going to affect our coaches and student-athletes. We want to model, mentor and monitor the behavior that we want with ourselves, our coaches, and our administration. We want a high-performing team and we want to maximize performance. So, the goal is, can we build a team where there’s trust, where we build relationships, where people know we care about each other’s successes, and let that manifest into the results that we know will be there if we’re doing things the right way?”

The Pacific Institute® (TPI) was brought in as a resource to help with this development and to examine and foster a positive culture. All FAU coaches participated in TPI’s curriculum, led by Master Facilitator Paul Herfurth, and students also participated on a voluntary basis. Believing that “sports are won and lost” with mindset is a simple concept but requires transformational thinking - key to the TPI process.

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