Community Outreach Partners (COMORP) is a nonprofit organization that strives to transform the lives of students by encouraging their goals and supporting their passions. COMORP creates new channels of influence for the youth through clinics, workshops, academic programs, and more. One of the most influential programs for student-athletes is the organization’s biweekly podcast, “The Pickle Pod”.
Being a student-athlete includes a huge time commitment to the sport, to the team, and to academics. Because of this, COMORP has also created “Beyond the Pickle Pod”, a short version of the podcast episode that includes all of the best advice and information in a 10 minute video. Since the podcast’s pilot episode, Co-Hosts Jack Sundberg and Ethan O’Day have hosted over 20 guests, all of whom are current or former collegiate or professional athletes.
The Pickle Pod is a way for professional athletes to tell their stories and connect with students hoping to follow similar paths. Guests on The Pickle Pod are encouraged to share their personal experiences as collegiate athletes and explain how they got where they are today. Each episode of the podcast includes the guest’s journey, what they wish someone told them, and wisdom to be passed on to the next generation of student-athletes.
For collegiate athletes, many focus almost exclusively on their sport, and miss the opportunity to discover their passions and take advantage of the career opportunities that are offered. Once they reach their junior or senior year in college, they begin to wonder, What’s next?
It is for this reason that The Pickle Pod exists. Having been on a competitive athletic track for years, many of these students’ identities become tangled up in their sports. They don’t have the guidance they need to help them focus on another track: a career track.
The Pickle Pod invites professional athletes to guide these students. They hear from former collegiate athletes who were in similar positions and were able to make their way through it. The goal for many student-athletes is success within their respective sport, and receiving advice from those who were/are successful leaves a meaningful impact on the students. They know that they are not alone, that there are academic and career resources available, and that COMORP can help them.The Pickle Pod is one channel that COMORP uses to influence student-athletes in their academic journey. The Pickle Pod episodes can be viewed at comorp.org/podcast/.