poor eating habits in teens
These days, it seems that almost every coach has some sort of a grading or ranking system for their athletes. Whether you’re calling them “A” players vs. “B” players, “Starters” vs. “Reserves” or “5 Tool Players” vs. “Prospects” it doesn’t really matter. The point is that grading a player enables you to more easily determine that players impact on your team and it’s chances of winning.
When it comes to evaluating my athletes nutrition…there’s one grade in particular that I find MOST CHALLENGING to make progress with when it comes time to improving their nutrition and that is my “CEE” Player. What is that? That’s my “Crappy Eater Exception“!
The “Crappy Eater Exception” or “CEE” player is that athlete that can pretty much eat anything they want and STILL excel on the field. In fact, I’ve seen plenty of these kinds of athletes in high school over the years. A lot of them are even racking up the All-Conference and All-State Team accolades.
The interesting thing about these kids is that there are fewer of them at the next level in collegiate sports, and then even fewer in the pros. Is it just a numbers game? With less athletes actually participating in competitive sports as the level of play increases? Nope! On a percentage basis…the numbers reflect what is undeniably true and that is…LONG TERM, you cannot excel as an athlete if you’re not paying attention to your nutrition.
You will simply be outclassed and surpassed by the athletes that are getting it right. Athletically, the gap between where this athlete stood in high school vs his or her peers may have been enormous and large enough to overcome the crappy eating that was actually pulling them closer to the pack. Makes you think…can you imagine how good they could have been had they had their nutrition locked in in high school as well?!?!
Anyway, when the talent and physical gap is closed considerably (as it is once they start to compete at the D1 or even D2 and 3 level), it’s those athletes that are doing EVERYTHING right that stand out above the rest and not only maintain the edge on the field or court, but also are the ones that make the team in the first place!
So while “CEE” players may actually look like “A”s in high school….long term, they are not laying the foundation to be a successful athlete (or even just a healthy adult for that matter) if they continue their poor nutritional habits. The challenge that coaches face is that often times, this is the athlete that is most resistant to change because they probably are excelling on the field DESPITE their bad eating. But that’s ok, but that’s what coaching is all about. Knowing each of your players and knowing the opportune time suggest a change of habits. For instance, even your greatest players have a bad game every now and then. It is usually at that moment that most athletes are at least open to suggestion. As long as you’re not in their face ready to read them the riot act, and instead are there to just provide some useful information that allows THEM to decide that it’s time to do something about their nutrition…you will have made your mark and had a positive impact.
Remember…awareness is the first step to change. When your athlete becomes aware that perhaps his or her “A” Skills are being undermined by their “C” or “CEE” eating habits, and if you’re there ready to provide the answer at that moment that it’s needed the most…you will elevate that athlete to a much stronger, healthier, better player going forward than they were when they came to you. And after all, isn’t that the hallmark of a great coach?
PS. Wouldn’t it be perfect if you could have a series of ready made nutrition “cheat sheets” that you could hand out to your players to help them overcome the most common challenges they’ll face with their nutrition? We talked about being ready to act at the moment that “CEE” player needs you the most. These cheat sheets keep you armed and ready like nothing else. And…they come as just one part of the Teen Sports Nutrition Blueprint System! To see more of what you get with this turn-key sports nutrition system head to http://sportsnutritionblueprint.com