the study of the kicking components within sports

Friday, January 2, 2015

D2 Nutrition Guide for Kickers & Punters, part 1

Our annual Q&A series with college specialists continues with Division II kickers and punters. We asked seniors in D2 the following question:

"What's the most important thing you've learned during your college career regarding nutrition, diet and/or meal-planning for specialists?"
Following is the first third of the responses.

Taylor Pontius, North Alabama
"Nutrition is just as important as practice. If you're not feeding your body the right nutrients, there won't be proper growth and healing when it comes to working out and your body won't perform to its highest potential. The more stamina you have during games, the better, and a lot of the foods we eat determine that. A good balance of proteins, greens, and vitamins will keep your body in the proper nutritional state. Stay away from carbonated drinks, snack cakes, etc."

Anthony Greenfield, New Haven
"Being a kicker and punter is like any other position on the field. You have to be in peak physical condition at all times. I find that eating breakfast everyday and taking protein helps keep my muscles from getting sore after long workouts."

Justin Ryan, Lenoir Rhyne
"The value of keeping a consistent meal plan that is nutritious and good for the body because the returns of eating healthy on a regular basis not only show on the field but with overall health as well. Sticking with a good meal plan is how you make gains."

Jordan Bair, East Stroudsburg
"Nutrition is incredibly important, because you can only get out of your body what you put in. And if you load it with junk and what not, your body isn't going to agree with you out on the field and that's when specialist have bad days because 'they aren't feeling it today.' Well you're not feeling it because your body has no good sources of fuel to tap into to produce the explosive forces needed to kick or punt."

John Gay, Harding
"I never had been a big guy. I came into college at 155 lbs and realized instantly that I needed to beef up. I met with my strength/nutrition coach and made a plan to get up to 170 lbs. The most important thing was getting up early enough to eat breakfast so I could fit in 5-6 meals/snacks in a day. With the right amount and healthy calories I needed, I was able to gain 1-2 pounds a week and got to 170 lbs in one semester. This definitely allowed me to get stronger in the weight room and carry forward into getting distance and height on the ball."

Kyle Jaski, Lincoln
"In college, they emphasize proper food choices. Making sure you're eating the right things for proper rebuilding. My biggest friend throughout college was drinking low fat chocolate milk immediately after a workout and/or weigh lifting session."

Bradley Hatfield, Sioux Falls
"Appropriate foods all week long was important. But I would say the most important thing was your calorie count. Making sure you consume enough calories before training and competition. So you are not burning calories you do not have."

Tyler Feely, Long Island
"From a kicking standpoint it is generally beneficial to gain weight so long as the weight gained is lean body mass. More mass will translate to more power, but speed is also a factor so the weight gained needs to be good weight. A diet high in carbs and protein along with a consistent weight lifting program should translate into good weight. However, many specialists will be limited to whatever is served in the dining halls, which generally is not the best tasting food. Thus it is easy to fall into the habit of getting burgers or other fast food type foods every day to avoid the dining hall foods, but this will not translate into healthy weight. Many colleges will have several specialists that are more than capable of taking over starting duties, and properly taking care of your body is one way to make sure you are always able to compete to your utmost potential."

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