the study of the kicking components within sports

Saturday, January 3, 2015

D2 Nutrition Guide for Kickers & Punters, part 2

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 second third of the responses.

Devon Jones, South Dakota Mines
"I've noticed that when I eat well and try to be healthier I have a higher level of concentration and overall feel better physically. When I don't eat as well I can tell that my body isn't as strong and that I don't have the same form when I'm kicking. It's more of a slowed down version of my usual form which allows for mistakes to be made."

Logan Cornelius, Tusculum
"The main thing that helped me besides portion control was really making sure that I got my protein in me during the week and then focusing on the fibrous/green carbs instead of the starchy carbs on the days leading up to game day. I started this probably half way through my junior year and it really helped me."

Dylan Nowak, Southern Arkansas
"Being a specialist I don't put a lot of effort into diet in nutrition. But I try to eat clean as possible during the season. I stay away from sodas and fast food. I eat lots of chicken and salads. The offseason I tend to splurge a little bit. Once summer workouts hit I try to get back in shape and eat healthy to get my body ready for the season."

Kasper Bernild, West Virginia Wesleyan
"Be consistent in your diet. I've made sure to take stuff like fish oil for joints, and taking protein shakes as well. I've lived off campus for my whole college career so I'd usually have to cook my own meal the day before. I'd make sure to carb load the day beforehand in case I needed to kick a lot, which I've tried to do as well when traveling."

Tad Beuchert, Assumption
"Find something that works for you and stick to it. Do the research and take time to properly plan out your days or weeks. It will not only help with scheduling purposes, but give you proper nutrition to stay in the best shape. I found that the routine with my diet and training schedule gets me up and I am ready for the day. I also get more work in when I get up and begin early and end late. Greatness begins with taking care of your body."

Austin Casillas, Clark Atlanta
"I'd say that diet is extremely important for any position on the field, especially the specialists! What you eat is basically what you'll get out of that practice. Eat clean and healthy at a good time before practice and you'll have the energy. I know days that I'd be short on time to eat because of work or classes, I'd be dragging towards the end of practice or even have a hard time warming up or getting through some of my drills, especially having to punt and kick. I'd even go as far to say that what I eat the day before or dinner before makes a huge difference for game days and practices. Eating healthy isn't only important for football specifically, but for school, studying, and your overall health on and off the field. It's even important for our future kids (I threw a little epigenetics in there since I am a Bio major lol). What is really great that I can take from my college experience is that everything I have learned health wise will carry on after college."

Troy Krepich, Virginia Union
"What you put in your body goes a long way. My freshman year I wasn't nearly as anal about my diet compared to my next 3 years and it showed. I was always very sluggish and simply didn't have the energy I'm used to having now. Once I decided to really clean it up and focus on what I was eating, my performance improved as well as my recovery from my workouts which payed dividends into how I performed in practice and during the games. Everyone always thinks that being a kicker means you only really have to show up and do not have to prepare or take care of your body compared to other positions, but in my mind I prepare just the same as any other position when it comes to the off the field aspects. I take pride in taking care of my body and sticking to a routine. My freshman year I weighed 155 lbs and going into my senior year I was tipping the scales at just under 205lbs. The drastic weight change I owe simply to my nutrition and training regimen. Along with all of this came increased height and distance on all of my kicks throughout the past years. Without my attained knowledge of nutrition I do not know if my college career would have gone the way it did."

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