Designing Olympic Education Curriculum

What to be asking the leaders of tomorrow, today?

Harris Kalofonos
4 min readMay 26, 2021

Typically, education programs focus on data delivery and miss their main objective — engaging students. How can an Olympic education program engage and inspire students? First, it needs to understand students fully.

Needs and Aspirations — First

We augmented our perspectives as we unearthed problems and opportunities across the educational system in our pursuit to develop a one-of-a-kind educational program. As depicted in an article about Olympic education; dive into what the students, parents, and the general public expected from such a program. The underlining finding was to develop a curriculum that enables participants to be part of something bigger while making a real practical difference. And to-date, Olympic education initiatives are blind to this problem as their only solution is to offer new content and repackage its delivery mediums and not focus on the individual’s needs and aspirations.

A program called Young Champion Ambassador believed that — with vigorous dexterous design, talented people, historic connections and contemporary understanding can provide a premier leadership education uniquely imparting Olympic and Paralympic values — was able to offer a solution and revolutionize the way Olympic education is delivered.

How the Young Champion Ambassador Team did it?

1. Data was used to understand students’ and parents’ needs and aspirations.

2. Reinforcement learning practices where tested that increased student engagement & attention.

After studying students’ responses with varying learning practices, it was understood what balancing conditions where needed between traditional and creative educational modalities to augment leadership skills.

Turning Point

After years of studying best practices in delivering Olympic-based leadership curriculums, the YCA team could pinpoint the leadership life-skill elements world-class Athletes use and achieve. YCA developed a curriculum that accurately emulates an elite athlete’s mental growth path. Key elements include Connection, Intention, Simplicity, Innovation, Resilience and Reflection.

Balancing Digital & Analog Engaging Materials

YCA workbook postcard and online cources offers a curated journey of self-reflection & connections with others.

With vigorous dexterous design, talented people, historic connections and contemporary understanding a premier leadership education uniquely imparting Olympic and Paralympic values can thrive.

The Results

YCA graduates were able to increase their leadership acumen in the following three ways:

1. Agree on one’s ambition by setting ones’ true north.

2. Bult ones’ system of cascading metrics to measure journey rather than touchpoints, using a mix of qualitative and quantitative metrics that matter to each individual.

3. Ensure one’s ability to visualize & share direction with others

A Surprise

1. Students began to perform public speaking appearances that were better than elite Athletes or college graduates.

2. The YCA experience helped students refine their post k-12 educational direction.

3. YCA graduates lead their own social causes.

4. Plus, students would come back to YCA to be mentors.

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Harris Kalofonos

Managing Director — Goodvoice Group | Connecting the dots of past & present experiences | Founder, YCA