Insight to Central Coach’s Reflection on their Athletes
February 18, 2019
Athlete’s and their abilities are affected by various factors within the sport and the restrictions suggested for it. Some of these include nutrition, dietary restrictions, training, and exercising during off seasons of sports. These factors vary from each sport and each coach’s opinion on what is best for the athletes.
Nutrition is an important aspect of an athlete’s body and mind. Track and field coach Frances Keating encourage athletes to maintain a large assortment of food groups. “We always talk about to make sure that you’re getting a wide variety of different foods and making sure that you’re having all spectrums of food. Not too much starch, protein, instead a little bit of everything.” Bredon Smith, varsity swim coach agrees, having more specific standards for the aquatic sport. “My biggest suggestion is no extra sugar when it’s not needed, due to there being extra “empty” calories that provide no benefits or vitamins to the body. If you like hot Cheetos, just eat some spicy red peppers, you get the same spice but with nutritional value. It’s basically just being aware of what you’re eating, and that what you’re eating can affect your performance.”
A coach’s personality and habits can also be reflected in the way they advise and coach their team. Keating believes her exercise skills can be seen in her team’s workouts. “I’m never going to make them do a workout I’m not going to do. When we create workouts, we always make sure that it’s realistic, manageable, and feasible and talk about just trying to build up the confidence to feel capable and give them reasons why they can. Just like with anything I try to lead by example, a lot of us do what the work out is and get them started because it’s easy to say run six laps but another to say let’s run six laps together.” However, Smith disagrees, saying his personal habits have no true correlation with his athlete’s. “I feel like a lot of kids don’t know me outside of a coach. My lifestyle doesn’t necessarily influence the team that much, but it influences how I direct them. We use what’s called hidden training, it’s like in the classroom, you don’t ever learn manners or being polite, even though the class isn’t about that, the teacher might still through in some common courtesy reminders. Same thing with workouts, even though we do workouts outside of the pool, we still include aspects that are used in swim.”
Athletic training outside of practices and during off-seasons can be considered a positive and recommended thing, however in some cases can be proven negative. Keating discourages workouts outside of scheduled practices during the season. “During season we don’t recommend any outside training because it can lead to over-training. Usually the program is designed so that you need rest, athletes underestimate the importance of rest. Rest allows your muscles to rebuild and you have to have that happen to be able to work harder.” Smith encourages working out as much as you can, saying it’ll lead to a more proficient athlete.” It’s definitely a workout thing, but it’s more of a lifestyle thing. You’ll notice Olympic athletes have super regimented schedules their bodies basically a clock. I always encourage kids to do more than one sport in off-seasons, but I am against club sports. Club sports are very specialized to that one thing which is great but kids who are in different sports are more likely to be a more well-rounded athlete.”