Director of Performance Nutrition, Baylor University
"Not only do I want to provide the best possible nutrition for my athletes, I want them to 'understand the why'."
Being a Performance Dietitian in collegiate athletics is extremely rewarding! We bridge the gap between our athletes living at home and being on their own after they graduate. Because of this, education is crucial! We have the opportunity to educate student athletes on not only fueling their bodies for sport, but for the rest of their lives! Athletes may enter college with limited knowledge on what their body requires from a nutritional standpoint because they have never had to even think about it before. I not only want to provide the best possible nutrition to my student athletes through the food we provide them in the dining hall, pre/post-workouts, and on gamedays, but my goal is for them to “understand the why.”
I have found that at the end of the day it all goes back to the relationships I get to build with my athletes. I love to get to know them and find out what motivates them, which I can use to help them illicit a positive behavior change. Getting to see all of their hard work translate to increased performance on the field makes it all worth it! I am so blessed to get to work with athletes every day to help them fuel their bodies for not only performance, but have a better understanding of why taking care of their body is so important!
This year with COVID-19, we had to get super creative with ensuring our athletes were maintaining proper hydration throughout practices. Texas in the summer is very hot, and gone were the convenient days of sharing squirt bottles!
The HydratER®s through Kinematic allowed our staff to safely provide individual bottles at practice without sacrificing our athlete’s hydration status. Because HydratER®s hold so many bottles, and are so easy to wheel across the field, it was easy to ensure each position group was taken care of, and every player always had their individual bottle within reach. The HydratER®s were the perfect solution for providing safe and individualized hydration to our athletes this fall!
COVID has impacted just about every single area of what I do! The safety of our student-athletes is the most important, and we had to get creative in order to never sacrifice the service we provide to our athletes.
From a food service standpoint, we have shifted everything to counter-service only, meaning that we are controlling the touchpoints and flow of every nutritional product our athletes receive. Our athlete dining hall also changed to a “to-go only” format. I have had to lean on trusting our athletes and the education we have given them, as they no longer are able to eat all their meals in front of us!
We have even had to get creative during team travel to ensure that safety is not sacrificed while on the road. From calculating meal room square footage for adequate spacing, to working with banquet caterers and vendors with specific safety guidelines, I have learned to be creative and always remember the end-goal: keeping our athletes safe and helping them play the sport they love!
I am so blessed to work with an awesome Health & Wellness staff, and COVID-19 has really shown how this group comes together to find creative solutions to take care of our team. While this year has been anything but normal, I am thankful to be surrounded by passionate and diligent coworkers who always put the team first!
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