the study of the kicking components within sports

Sunday, January 4, 2015

D2 Nutrition Guide for Kickers & Punters, part 3

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 final third of the responses.

Patrick Carney, New Mexico Highlands
"Throughout college I have learned how important a clean healthy diet is, with that being said making sure we get all our nutrition in order to stay strong and healthy for the entire season. In order for both of these to be successful meal-planning is very important, at the beginning of weeks I would put meals together to make sure I would be able to get all the food I needed while working around the busy schedule of school and football. By doing all of this it was one less thing to worry about and allowed me extra time to focus on punting whether it was film, strength and conditioning, or practice."

Saul Martinez, Texas A&M-Commerce
"Most importantly have a well balanced diet. Wasn't really concerned with counting calories as long as I was fueling my body regularly and adequately."

Patrick Smith, Wingate
"Nutrition and diet are very important. I did not treat my body as great as I should have and looking back eating what I did was the problem. I put on more weight than even normal students just by eating. My last two seasons I could really tell it made a difference in my body. I felt more tired through games and my operation times were slowing down. My list of top things would be mechanics, then nutrition, then lifting."

Matt Eltringham, Hillsdale
"The most important thing I've learned is consistency in preparation: diet, training, mental and physical prep, pre-game routine, relaxation and mental cues. Consistency in these areas yielded some very positive results in my career. One of the biggest thing that helped me though, was mental preparation thru relaxation. My junior and senior season I got to the point where it felt like practice in games."

Davis Brendel, Nebraska-Kearney
"Dieting and meal planning during the season is difficult, especially when you're on the road for multiple days. But as long as your making the conscious effort to put healthy foods into your body that you can continue to have good diet. Fast good is easier to eat during the season because you don't have as much time to cook, but it's not going to benefit you in the long run."

Jeremy Neuman, Winona State
"The most important thing I learned is to eat balanced meals that include a protein source (i.e. chicken, beef, pork, etc.), plenty of fruits and veggies (one of each with every meal /snack). Another big thing is you never want to have the hungry feeling during the day. Always have a balanced breakfast in the morning (it truly is the most important meal of the day, it kick starts your metabolism) and the last thing is never go to bed hungry, have a little snack before you go to bed but nothing big."

Reagan Wise, Arkansas-Monticello
"Over the past four years I've had an on and off health kick. When it comes to a meal plan for specialist I would recommend eating healthy to a point of comfortability with your body. I never wanted to lose to much weight, because you never know when you will have to make a tackle. I didn't want to be too heavy because I wanted to keep my leg speed. I usually played around 185 and in the off season dropped to 165-170."

Daniel Backx, American International
"As an athlete we all need to take special care of our bodies. Correct preparation for practices, workouts, and games has to be a key staple in the life of a specialist. Being a kicker/punter, we have it a little different and also more challenging in some areas when it comes to preparation. The most important thing that I have learned throughout college regarding nutrition would have to be the importance of staying hydrated. Maintaining correct levels of electrolytes throughout the body and holding on to the right amount of water serves us especially well when trying to reach the flexibility and muscle endurance that we desire. Eating at the appropriate times, before/after practices is also very important. I have found that being prepared meal wise on game day is one of the most important things for specialists. We are required to be out on the field at least 90 minutes before kickoff if not longer. Having an extra granola bar or banana packed make for a great half time snack."

Cody Nuzzo, California of PA
"The most important thing I learned was just making sure you keep your cardio up and then you can really eat however you normally did. I think a lot of kickers and punters were former soccer players or played a position as well as kick so our metabolism was higher. Then when we arrive at college all we do is kick and its easy to put on a lot of extra bad weight. My junior year I was one of those guys who started to gain because I just couldn't find time for cardio with my busy schedule. So with the help from some friends I switch to a Paleo diet which consisted of meats, vegetables, fruits, and a lot of eggs. This was difficult for me because growing up with an Italian family we were very high carb with the pastas and pizzas every other night. I also switch from regular two percent milk to almond milk which was a small change that I felt helped."

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