Boston College Elevates Holistic Wellness for 500+ Student-Athletes

Customer Case Study

Boston College Student-Athletes wearing WHOOP
Jade, Senior Associate Director of Student-Athlete Development

“We had to figure out how to give student-athletes a way to control what is in their control — and we needed the metrics to do it.”

For Boston College, academic and athletic excellence are rooted in the school’s culture. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) school is invested in achieving the same strong performance on the playing field as in the classroom. But that is only possible when student-athletes’ physical and mental health are at their peak. 

Devoted to developing the healthiest, happiest, and most productive young adults, Boston College sought a partner who could provide the tools and education that student-athletes need to succeed holistically

Enter WHOOP Unite, the only comprehensive health and wellness solution that transforms the entire team — from athletic leadership to individual players — with personalized insights, coaching, and education. 

Finding the right holistic wellness solution

Student-athletes are often considered a high-risk group, reporting higher levels of anxiety and depression than the general college student population. 1

After investing in various mental wellness resources, including counseling apps, Boston College realized they needed a comprehensive solution that prioritized rest and recovery as a means of improving mental and physical performance. 

But, like any sport, driving real change is a team effort. Transforming the culture across the university’s athletic department would only be effective if coaches, administrators, and training staff were actively involved in educating and empowering their student-athletes.

How? The university needed a solution that could deliver both individual and team-level analytics on student-athlete biometrics. That way, student-athletes could leverage personal insights about their bodies to better manage their physical and mental stress, while health and performance staff — equipped with a higher level of understanding regarding their teams’ well-being — could make informed decisions to optimize team readiness and performance.

Easily scalable and adaptable across teams, WHOOP Unite was the right solution for this ACC school, making it simple to onboard, ship, and manage devices for 31 athletic teams and 500+ student-athletes. 

With a best-in-class health & resilience program, the WHOOP Unite solution recognizes that one size does not fit all — especially in collegiate athletics. The program is designed to adapt to specific organizational goals and needs, overseen by a knowledgeable WHOOP Unite success team. The athletic department’s partnership with WHOOP included customized onboarding, education, and engagement. 

Setting up concrete goals 

Once Boston College chose WHOOP Unite to support student-athletes’ health, sleep, and recovery, the athletic administration worked with a dedicated team of WHOOP experts to outline partnership goals: 

  1. Deliver individualized health insights to drive meaningful behavior change. Personalized WHOOP insights and behavioral recommendations help student-athletes improve their sleep and focus on behaviors that prioritize recovery, reduce the risk of overtraining, and strengthen mental and physical wellness. 
  2. Establish a common language among staff and student-athletes. With WHOOP, student-athletes have metrics to point to regarding their mental and physical state, making it easier to have honest conversations with coaches and teammates and adjust accordingly — sharing they're "in the red" so they really need to get a good night sleep, or "in the green" and ready to push it during practice. 
  3. Empower teams to better manage physical and mental stress. With team-level insights from WHOOP Unite, Boston College empowered student-athletes to take control of their well-being, while equipping athletic trainers and strength coaches to make more informed decisions about athletes’ readiness to perform, risk of injury, and mental wellness. Consequently, student-athletes were equipped to reach new heights—both personally and at practice. 
graphic of quoted text from Associate Dir of Sports Medicine

Delivering personalized health insights and recommendations

Offered across the entire student-athlete population, those who opted into the WHOOP Unite program gained access to detailed insights about their bodies. These metrics include sleep duration, quality, and consistency, blood oxygen levels, skin temperature, heart rate, and more. 

Data from the WHOOP app provided individualized behavioral recommendations — from how many hours of sleep their body needs to fully recover, to the optimal levels of cardiovascular strain they should aim for in a workout. 

graphic of phone showing WHOOP journal in app

Using the WHOOP Journal

Using the WHOOP Journal, student-athletes could also keep track of factors that contribute to their holistic health, including nutrition, hydration, mental state, recovery behaviors (like ice baths and massages), and more. Now, student-athletes could replace assumptions about their performance with precise information about their body’s unique needs.

At the same time, the WHOOP Unite solution delivered high-level, team analytics to health and performance staff. This team-level data helped them make better training decisions to prevent injury, overtraining, and reduce fatigue. 

Kristen, Associate Director of Sports Medicine

“WHOOP Unite has given me a way to open up conversations with athletes, usually around their own concerns, about how stress accumulates over the day — including life stress, social stress, academic stress. We can talk about it and there is data they can see that supports the conversation.”

Measuring success at the team level

To prioritize sleep and recovery, as well as drive further engagement with WHOOP Unite, teams were incentivized to engage in healthy competition. Teams that participated were impressed with what the data revealed.

Athletes who consistently wore WHOOP saw marked improvements in their health:

Mia, Women’s Soccer Team Member

“Being a competitive athlete my whole life, I was always conscious about my body’s performance and how my workouts were making me feel day-to-day. WHOOP data and recommendations have enabled me to prioritize better recoveries, feel more energized on a daily basis, and be more attuned to my body’s needs. ”
BC students wearing WHOOP exercising

Unlocking healthier student-athletes and higher performing teams

After implementing WHOOP Unite across their athletic department, Boston College has witnessed the impact of a stronger, more supportive athletic community — fueled by empowered student-athletes and informed leadership.  

With buy-in from both staff and student-athletes, Boston College has seen a measurable improvement in holistic wellness that will continue from season to season.

Interested in learning more about WHOOP Unite?

See how it can help your athletic department elevate student-athletes’ physical and mental wellness.

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