the study of the kicking components within sports

Monday, October 5, 2015

FCS Nutrition Guide for Kickers & Punters, part 1

Our annual Q&A series with college specialists continues with FCS kickers and punters. We asked seniors 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 half of the responses...

Logan Bieghler, Northern Iowa
"Obviously nutrition is an important part of any football player's life because we need to fuel our bodies in the right way to perform at a high level. Not only does nutrition affect how our muscles perform, but it affects how our brains work as far as being alert and sharp mentally, which is perhaps a bigger emphasis than the physical aspect of kicking. Eating healthy foods and the eliminating fast foods/fatty foods will help an athlete perform at the highest level possible."

Jay Carlson, South Dakota State
"I would say the most important aspect of my diet is that I have at least 3 meals a day. This helps me maintain a good energy level allowing me to get the most out of practice and games to build consistency without over eating. I avoid foods high in sugar. Before games my meals are high in carbs and I make sure to drink a lot of fluids from water and Gatorade. For snacks I like to eat fruits and almonds or protein bars and foods high in antioxidants."

Francisco Condado,  Nicholls State
"Avoid eating greasy food. Try eating more fruits and vegetables. Drink lots of water (especially since I'm in the south it gets pretty humid down here). Watch your weight during season as well."

Bryan Maley, Wagner
"Healthy foods help me stay mentally alert and fresh so I try to eat foods that will give me good energy, especially before a game. I usually eat half a banana or something during halftime of each game."

Anthony Pistelli, Samford
"Not only is nutrition important for all student athletes, it is necessary. You simply can't be at your best unless you give your body the fuel it needs and you can't out-work a bad diet. A balanced diet is crucial for recovery, building muscle, energy levels and even hydration."

Sean Decloux, Maine
"The most important thing I have learned regarding nutrition has to do with eating to make gains. I came into college as the scrawniest and weakest kid on the team. I'm not saying it's the only way to gain respect, but putting on 45 pounds (mostly muscle) in 3 years and taking workouts/meal planning as seriously as any other player on the team definitely showed my teammates and coaching staff that I was taking the program seriously. Training hard and eating as much as I can after workouts (while maintaining flexibility) has helped put more distance and height on my ball."

John Lunsford, Liberty
"The most important thing I've learned is to not drink soda! I've been addicted to sofa ever since I can remember and just last year I decided to do whatever it took to shake this addiction. No more than a few weeks passed and I already felt more flexible, hydrated, and more importantly ready to play! I felt more energized in the morning and more focused throughout my day whether it was in the class room, film study, or kicking in practice."

Jace Denker, Central Arkansas
"During my time as a college kicker I've learned a bit about being an athlete. Every athlete is different and they all have different goals. These goals may affect how they go about planning a diet and nutrition for their body. My personal goal was to gain muscle mass while reducing fat in my body. Making the transition from high school to college, I gained quite a bit of weight which was mostly muscle. During my freshman and sophomore year I ate at the school cafeteria most of the time. The cafeteria provided the perfect atmosphere for gaining weight and the workouts provided the perfect formula to turn that weight into muscle. During my junior year I started cooking for myself most of the time. This allowed me to cater my diet and meal prep most of the week for myself. My junior and senior year my goal switched from gaining weight to maintaining the weight I had obtained. As a specialist I feel that in the early years you set your goals for diet and nutrition. After you meet those goals then you can change your focus to maintaining what you've earned and applying more to the technical side of kicking."

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