UGASports - New Lessons for Freshmen
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New Lessons for Freshmen

After enjoying tremendous success with his company Breakout Training working
with middle school and high school-aged youngsters in the Atlanta area, former
Georgia wide receiver Sean Bailey is bringing his organization to Athens in
hopes of getting the careers of future Bulldog freshmen off to a rousing start.
We're not talking about what happens on the field, either.
On the contrary, Breakout Training deals with leadership, character education,
lessons former players like Bailey learned on the field which they attempt to
translate and use to help young men in their everyday lives.
"Through the Paul Oliver Network, Coach (Mark) Richt has poured a lot of
resources in to helping guys find jobs, so we started thinking what if we
started doing that more on the front end," said Bailey, who is part of the
company along with former teammate Antavious Coates. "So we approached Coach
Richt and met with him, gave him the long term vision, a short term vision and
ultimately a pilot of what we wanted to do."
According to Bailey, he believes the program can be very beneficial.
"Our long-term vision would be able to touch all four classes - freshmen,
sophomore, juniors and seniors and have a curriculum developed depending on what
year they are in, dealing with the specifics they are dealing with at that
time," he said. "Short term, we want to start slow and develop something for the
freshmen, an in-season program or out-season program where we met with them once
a week or whatever and that initial pilot if what we are doing right now."
This Monday, Georgia's incoming freshmen will take part in a two-hour symposium
where they will meet with former players that include Bailey, Rennie Curran,
Richard Samuel, Jermaine Phillips and a number of others.
Among the subjects Bailey expects his panel will broach with incoming class
include talks on relationship, mentors, academics, health, along with drug and
alcohol awareness. There will also be breakout sessions where the young athletes
take part in self-awareness exercises where they will discuss strengths,
weaknesses, dreams, fears, successes and failures with talks on morality, values
and beliefs.
"With the freshmen in that room they're going to be able to relate to somebody
we bring up on this panel, whether this guys was a five-star, from their home
town or a sleeper who barely got a scholarship offer but wound up playing a
whole lot in the league," Bailey said. "The way we're looking at it, we're kind
of like their future selves because we're going to be able to go back and talk
about some of the things we struggled with, some of the things we had success
with."
Although Georgia is the first college with which Breakout Training has conducted its
symposium, Bailey said the group has had tremendous success and been able
to reach a number of local youngsters at high schools that include Roswell and
West Forsyth.
Bailey feels having the opportunity to broach such topics with former athletes
like themselves will help the freshman receive the message better than they
ordinarily might.
"I know when I was at Georgia, sometimes Coach Richt would bring in this guy,
he'd have a really good message but a lot of guys just couldn't relate to him
because he didn't necessarily look like him, come from the same background,"
Bailey said. "We've gone through all the struggles. We went from being highly,
highly recruited, people telling us how great we are to coming on campus and you're
just of many five-star guys, etc, etc, etc. That high school workload is a lot
difference once you get into college and you don't have your parents over your
shoulder making sure you're doing everything."
Bailey said his group is prepared for whatever questions their young listeners
may have.
"As we did this we put together a focus group, we called about 15 guys that we
played with, even guys like Hutson Mason and Michael Bennett, to go along with a
guy like Jermaine Phillips who has been gone a while. We asked them what kind of
struggles they went through, do they wish they were more prepared, just a wide
array of things depending on family background situations, the recruiting
situation," Bailey said. "Academics was a big thing, choosing a major, it was a
very, very diverse response just depending on the individual and that's one of
the things we feel we can really help with."