John F. Kennedy University




(800) 696-5358 Get Started

Campus Finder

Areas of Study

Solt Evans LEAP Project

Life Enhancement through Athletic Participation
The Mission of the Solt Evans LEAP Project

The mission of the LEAP project is to help youth from underserved populations succeed in sport, school, and life through mental skill building. Sport Psychology Program team members empower participants to reflect, recognize their potential, understand how to reach it, and to make sound, thoughtful decisions along the way. LEAP becomes a bridge to the future, using sport participation as a catalyst to help youth apply these skills both on and off the field.

Through participation in the LEAP project, youth learn sport psychology techniques and team building in a supportive environment of positive reinforcement. Rather than focusing simply on sports, youth learn to use sport psychology to improve their life skills and develop respect for themselves and others.

The LEAP Project provides a bridge to opportunity by helping youth:

  •  Improve personal decision making
  • Recognize choices have consequences
  • Promote personal responsibility and accountability
  • Improve self-confidence
  • Learn stress management skills
  • Enhance problem solving and teamwork skills
  • Develop the discipline needed to be successful in sports, school and life

 Examples of current and past LEAP projects:
Student Athletes on High School sport teams

The LEAP project works with underserved high school student athletes. Student-athletes learn about setting goals, positive self-talk, energy management, peak performance, motivation and team-building.

Challenge Camp
The LEAP Challenge Camp is held at Orin Allen Youth Rehabilitation Facility (OAYRF) in Byron. This camp has been in place since 1991. OAYRF is an unlocked facility for boys ten to eighteen years in age who have been incarcerated for engaging in criminal behaviors. The LEAP Challenge Camp teaches mental training skills that can be applied as life skills, enabling participants to make better choices and decisions, and to become productive members of our community. The week culminates with a visit to a ropes course where the boys apply the skills they have learned.

Sport Specific Camp
The LEAP Sport Specific Camps include sites such as the First Base Foundation (2011) and the non-profit Mustang Soccer Club (2012-13). Youth participants in these camps learn performance enhancement techniques such as positive self-talk, goal setting, relaxation, and team building.

How the LEAP Project Works
LEAP teaches proven sport psychology techniques - such as goal setting, relaxation, concentration and positive self-talk - in an interactive and non-traditional games environment of through sports participation and then helps youth apply the techniques to other aspects of their lives.

To learn more about LEAP’s ongoing services, contact Deborah Osteen at dosteen@jfku.edu or (925) 969-3413.


John F. Kennedy University is an affiliate of the National University System.