CF coaches stress healthy lifestyles to fuel competitive success

As coaches guide athletes to top form in all the sports, one of the many considerations they emphasize is something that happens outside of practice and competitions: following healthy lifestyles.

Tops on this list is getting a good night’s rest. Cross country coach Scott Gall recommended at least eight hours of sleep a day to recover from training and meets/games. 

“Sleeping is the time where the body recovers and grows the most. It also helps you recover from diseases and colds,” he said. 

Head football coach Brad Remmert also reinforces the importance of sleep. “Science points to eight hours of good sleep will improve performance in athletes,” he said. “I have a feeling some athletes are staying up longer than they should, but the best we can do is to tell them the benefits of sleep.”

Coaches also stressed eating healthy diets on a daily basis. Gall said, “A good mix of carbs and proteins with a daily intake of raw fruits and vegetables, for sure. Usually, 60/40 carbs to protein, but for endurance, athletes may be more like 70/30.” 

Head golf head coach Jeremiah Longnecker is also big on choosing the right foods. “I recommend endurance athletes to eat a lot of bananas. They are cheap, they are portable and they are great for you especially if you are doing something that is drawn out.” 

Regarding choosing the right diet, Gall also debunked a common myth about carbing up before hard practices, games and meets. Gall said, “You can’t really load/store more carbs than normal anyway. If you eat a balanced diet on a daily basis, you’ll be just fine.” 

Staying hydrated is also on top of Tiger coaches’ lists for top performance, and they see that athletes should also drink more water than they are.  “Your body is made up of mostly water, and you use it for optimal operation of all body functions from digestion and recovery to energy and effort,” Gall said. “I recommend my athletes to consume almost a gallon of water a day and drink it throughout the day to start the hydration process,” Remmert said.   

Coaches also recommended that athletes avoid certain foods.  “We avoid something that is really heavy. We try to eat light sandwiches and granola bars,” Longnecker said. 

Remmert said, “We try to avoid fast food, and if we do go to fast food, we try to avoid the heavily fried foods like fries.”  

Galls also steers athletes to avoid sugar in foods and drinks.

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