“Jeff O’Brien and his team articulate their message in a way that many student-athletes have not heard, whether it be through reflexive thought or active participation, they have unequivocally gotten our student-athletes’ attention. We are confident that the MVP program has made a difference in the lives of our student-athletes.”
Associate Athletics Director / Director of Student-Athlete Support Services, Michigan State University
MVP trainings are facilitated discussions, not lectures. They are highly interactive. Awareness Raising and Train the Trainer trainings are utilized to develop concrete options for participants to employ during a range of school or social situations – ranging from inappropriate comments to physical abuse. Additionally, the trainings open dialogue regarding participant leadership around issues such as: the social construction of masculinity as it relates to unhealthy behavior, sexual objectification of women, sexual harassment, battering and sexual assault. The trainings are co-facilitated by a diverse team of former athletes.
MVP trainings strive to create a healthy tension, thereby appropriately challenging participants to understand and embrace the necessity of their action as a leader and proactive bystander when faced with these issues. MVP provides a paradigm shift in attitude about these issues and then empowers participants with concrete options for intervention in real-life situations.
What makes MVP training effective?
- MVP trainers are a diverse group of former athletes, who capitalize on the elevated status of athletics in our culture to establish connections with participants in highly effective ways.
- MVP specializes in working with the most difficult-to-reach groups, having worked extensively with fraternities, college sport, professional sport and the military for more than a decade.
- MVP is an industry leader. MVP was on the cutting-edge in the early nineties, utilizing a bystander approach to prevention – since having developed a deep understanding of it through thousands of training sessions with a wide-range of groups.
- MVP teaches concrete bystander intervention skills for use in the most difficult situations.
- MVP employs a discussion-based educational philosophy to make training sessions dynamic and interactive. MVP trainings are not lectures.
- MVP utilizes original teaching materials including MVP Playbooks which consist of realistic social scenarios involving various forms of men’s violence against women.
- MVP teaches basic media literacy skills by helping participants deconstruct mainstream images related to men’s violence against women.
- MVP trainings provide the context necessary to empower participants to be proactive bystanders.
- MVP works with men and women in both mixed and single gender sessions.
- MVP staff creates a “safe space” for participants to learn from one another.
- MVP is highly replicable, allowing organizations to utilize the curriculum long after the initial training
Here are brief descriptions of the two most popular MVP training options. For more information please contact us.
Awareness Raising Trainings (90 minutes or 4 hours)
90-minute or 4 hour Awareness Raising Trainings are utilized to open dialogue regarding student leadership around issues of battering and sexual assault. Working from a social justice foundation and with the premise that men and women often approach these issues differently, the trainings are single gender with male facilitators working with male student-leaders and female facilitators working with female student-leaders. Active learning strategies are utilized to help the participants personalize the issue of gender violence, highlight the power of bystanders, and reinforce the importance of their leadership intervening and confronting potentially dangerous situations where peers might need assistance. The specific topics can be tailored to the needs of individual organizations.
Two or Three Day Train the Trainer (TTT) Trainings
The training sessions are co-facilitated by a multi-racial, mixed-gender training team. Below is an overview of the main components of the training.
The TTT training is organized in two distinct phases. Phase I involves the introduction of MVP’s educational philosophy and training organized into educational units on Leadership, Battering, Sexual Assault/Rape, Gender Roles , Sexual Harassment and Homophobia/Heterosexism. Each unit is highly interactive and involves a variety of educational approaches (large group, small group, single gender breakouts, media examples and discussion-based). At the end of each educational unit, the participants are asked to reflect on the purpose of the unit, the utility of the activities and potential discussion-starting questions as facilitators.
Phase II trains the participants to be trainers. Facilitation 101 begins this process and engages the group about the characteristics of a good facilitator. The group will also learn about managing dialogue, group dynamics, learning styles and preparation. Each participant will lead a segment of the curriculum and receive feedback during this phase of the training.