WAG Nutrition component of coaching

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GymCMLA

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Just wondering your experience with how much, what kind, how intense, how it is delivered... the education/coaching/training your gym includes about nutrition/diet?

There seems to be a current focus on it at the gym (24 hour food recall at practice, fast food avoidance, counseling to reduce avoid fats, talk about bringing in a nutritionist, etc)
 

SurpriseGymMom

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I coach quite young children (developmental team, 5-8yo) so we don't go into it a lot. We do speak to them about good choices (especially before practice) but are very careful to not mention restricting themselves in any way other than that. (For instance we tell them it's a bad choice to have 4 cupcakes right before practice but that doesn't mean they can never eat cupcakes, just not right before practice!)
I know the older girls have had a couple of talks about how as athletes what they put into their bodies affect what they are able to get out of their bodies, but no "calorie restrictions" or anything like that. More about making sure we make good choices to fuel ourselves..!
 
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MILgymFAM

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I can say from a parents perspective I do not want nutrition brought into the gym. At all. There is so much controversy in terms of the best nutrition, let alone food intolerances and allergies. There is just no one right way to feed anyone. I have had coaches try to give me nutrition advice and I found it very off-putting. Even the advice of avoiding fat- no way. In my view of nutrition, fats are good. Very good. Whole grains are often pushed- my DD is celiac, so that's a careful line I walk with her. I wouldn't want anyone coming from a position of authority and going against what I teach my kids about nutrition at home.
 

profmom

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A bit more on the boys' side than the girls', but not much in either. DS's coach rails against Gatorade and other sports drinks ("you're a GYMNAST, not a marathoner!") and encourages the boys to bring healthy snacks to meets. If it's a color not found in nature, he doesn't want to see it going in his boys' mouths.
 

B.Gold

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Even the advice of avoiding fat- no way. In my view of nutrition, fats are good. Very good. Whole grains are often pushed- my DD is celiac, so that's a careful line I walk with her. I wouldn't want anyone coming from a position of authority and going against what I teach my kids about nutrition at home.
I wish I could like this 15 times. You don't even have to be celiac to be gluten sensitive. I wish I knew 40 years ago what I have learned about gluten in the last few months and how it effects me. Ive been relieved of anxiety, insomnia and several other maladies by cutting out gluten.

We are also depriving our brains of healthy fat... Our brains are nearly all fat and desperately needs it to function properly.

The book Grain Brain, written by David Perlmutter, a board certified neurologist and fellow on the American Board of Nutrition, has changed my perception of grain and the effects it has on the brain.

I'm having to undo years of misinformation regarding nutrition taught to my children. I really wouldn't want any help from anyone regarding nutrition that doesn't have a grip on these concepts.
 

skschlag

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I agree with the above. But I do appreciate when the coach mentions what soda does to the body, and what too many sweets can do. I can talk about it until I am blue in teh face, but coming from the coach, it often means more. BUt don't talk about protein shakes, grains, fats, etc. Just the obvious things!
 

raenndrops

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Our coach just talks about nutrition in terms of packing something relatively "healthy" for munchie break and for meets. BUT... it also has to be nut free as we have a couple of girls with SEVERE nut allergies on team - can't even breathe on them after eating something with nuts... so it is not allowed.
We actually have team parents that are: teachers, nurses, doctors, PT, factory workers, salespeople, mechanics, stay-at-home parents, students, and a nutritionist... but she even admitted to me that there is no way to give a blanket statement to all the girls about anything related to nutrition other than don't eat a bunch of "junk food" right before or after practice. There are too many variables in everyone's lives.
 

JBS

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There seems to be a current focus on it at the gym (24 hour food recall at practice, fast food avoidance, counseling to reduce avoid fats, talk about bringing in a nutritionist, etc)

Would you put diesel in your Lamborghini? Your kids are high performance athletes...they must be treated as such the higher the level that they get too. Just don't take it too extremes...and make sure the athletes don't either.

EDIT: Does avoiding fat mean that you should not eat McDonald's everyday?...yes. Does it mean that you should avoid avocados???...no.
 

Aussie_coach

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In a way it does come up. If I catch the kids eating lollies (candy) before practice, I will talk about the way it gives the, a quick energy boost and then it is followed by a severe drop which can affect concentration and performance.
 
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Sari

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I wish I could like this 15 times. You don't even have to be celiac to be gluten sensitive. I wish I knew 40 years ago what I have learned about gluten in the last few months and how it effects me. Ive been relieved of anxiety, insomnia and several other maladies by cutting out gluten.

We are also depriving our brains of healthy fat... Our brains are nearly all fat and desperately needs it to function properly.

The book Grain Brain, written by David Perlmutter, a board certified neurologist and fellow on the American Board of Nutrition, has changed my perception of grain and the effects it has on the brain.

I'm having to undo years of misinformation regarding nutrition taught to my children. I really wouldn't want any help from anyone regarding nutrition that doesn't have a grip on these concepts.

I have had a similar experience since since going semi (and then full-on) paleo this year. It all started as an experiment, I didn't ever anticipate having any sort of reaction to grains. Since then I've found out that they have a large impact on my allergies, which, after cutting out all grains from my diet, are now nonexistent.

But I'd never think of forcing this life choice on any of my gymnasts and their families. I'm not an expert. If they want to change their diet, they're free to go to a nutritionist or experiment on their own.
I just ask for no junk at practice and preferably no excessive amounts of Nutella on white toast before a long meet.
 
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Faith

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Dd has a nutritionist who talks to them and the parents when they join the squad.

His take is basically cook from scratch as much as possible. Eat to appetite. Avoid overly processed food, but a little bit of cake/chocolate/macdonalds occasionally wont do any harm.

He did stress that high protein/low fat/low carb or whatever is fashionable should be avoided. Children need a balanced diet.

And beware of so called "healthy" snacks like cereal bars which are basically over processed and rubbish.
 

sce

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Just wondering your experience with how much, what kind, how intense, how it is delivered... the education/coaching/training your gym includes about nutrition/diet?

There seems to be a current focus on it at the gym (24 hour food recall at practice, fast food avoidance, counseling to reduce avoid fats, talk about bringing in a nutritionist, etc)
None of this happens at our gym. Some of it would upset me. Bringing in a nutritionist would be cool, reminding the kids that they expend a lot of energy and need fuel for their growing bodies would be okay, but giving specifics like avoiding fats etc NOT OKAY!!!
 

ldw4mlo

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Gym Camps in the summer, they talk about nutrition very specifically.

Good choices vs not so good choices posted in the waiting room for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Other then that the usual make healthy choices
 

JBS

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Unfortunately parents are usually a big issue when it comes to athletes that are eating improperly...so it can't be left up to parents unless the booster club is willing to take a more active role in this education...which would be great. Those that understand could help those that don't. Parents would have control so as to not upset everyone's sense of control over their kid. Eating...sleeping...stress management...these are all very important things to train.

With eating...it's a hard one...who do you educate...kids...parents...both? Does age matter? There are no answers...if you don't like the way your club is doing it...talk to the head coach. If it is being done the way the head coach wants...then find a new gym.
 

l.c.o

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This topic is a hot button issue for me.

My DD has a BMI that is far below 'the chart'. I'm taking, like 1.5 or 2" below it. We had to look around the page to find the plot point, and he thought her weight was entered incorrectly at first. She is 11.

Anyway, her doctor just had a fairly in-depth discussion with DD about the importance of eating enough calories, with a huge reminder that she's a kid. He focused on the fact that she trains a TON, far more than most kids, and that she needs to not worry so much about what she's eating. Occasional fast food is ok, treats are ok. In moderation, as long as she's also eating enough good proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Basically, nachos as a frequent dinner option = bad, but as a snack sometimes is ok.

He was fairly concerned that she's setting herself up for an eating disorder due to things she's read and heard over the years... No not just the gym, gym/health class, television, and friends, too. He has even encouraged drinking calories during practice (by whatever means). He suggested a 50:50 water:Gatorade blend. Water is important, but so is consuming enough calories.

Plus, Gatorade tastes good, so she's more likely to drink more fluids.

My DD has often struggled to eat enough. When she was in 2nd grade, her teacher insisted snacks must come "from nature". The former bio/chem major in me argued that everything is "from nature". Fact is, my kid had high-calorie, less-healthy snacks because (1) it was a nut-free classroom, (2) the snack couldn't be refrigerated, (3) she eats a very light breakfast... Milk and fruit, usually, and (4) she has anxiety issues and rarely ate much lunch in the cafeteria because it was so overwhelming. Teacher and I argued over it the entire school year, until I finally went to the office just to get her to stop snack-shaming my kid.

So, blanket statements upset me, every kid is different.

Anyway, DD has gained a pound or so since the appt, and has grown 1". Whether that's just genetics or the increase in calories, I'll never know.

Now, if I could get her younger brother to stop avoiding the healthy stuff and to eat fewer darn pretzels, life would be great.
 

JBS

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From our team info...

Nutrition & Rest
MWT recommends a balanced diet and 8 - 10 hours of sleep each night. While we are trying to provide parents more resources...this is ultimately the responsibility of the parents.
 

l.c.o

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Yes...athletes must be trained and educated on an individual basis...but the conversation must start somewhere if someone is truly looking at high level sports.

I agree, but there's a difference between reminding kids that their bodies need good, healthy foods vs. stating all crap is bad for them and will hurt their performance.

And I guess it depends what qualifies as high-level sports, and the age of the child. And yes, their individual needs. Everyone has a different metabolism, nutritional requirements, preferences, and personality quirks.

I don't mean to imply that every program takes it to that level, but some do. And again, this doesn't only happen at the gym. My DD's BMI was measured with calipers at school last year and the kids got fitness summaries... The kids compared them, and talked...

Gently and quietly putting parents in touch with nutrition info, or offering access to a "team nutritionist" familiar with high-level sports probably isn't a bad idea.

And it may need to be said that this is coming from the perspective of a mom with a 70# 11 year old.
 
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skschlag

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I do think there is a balance. And my ds will take it better from a coach, with suggestions about what can help ,versus me. I am mom. he hears me all the time. But reminders about whole foods, occassional treats, etc is good.

We have one gymnast that drinks a Mt. Dew every day before practice and goes out for Fast food after. That could be a problem down the road.
 
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