Importance of Nutrition

This past weekend I had the normal and customary spring AAU weekend. Get up early, go pick up a couple players, head to the gym for up to 6 hours of coaching basketball at a weekend tournament. It occurred to me this past weekend that while it’s a great experience for everyone involved there is consistently little or no opportunity for players to eat healthy and take care of their bodies. If there is any time to eat at all it’s usually a quick trip to McDonalds or over to the snack bar for a candy bar, bag of chips, or if you’re lucky a slice of pizza or chicken tenders. While many players are committed to improving as players so many of them neglect the fuel their bodies need to reach their potential. With this in mind, I found a great .pdf from Alan Stein on the basics of nutrition. He stresses how important it is for players who want to gain weight to eat, eat, and eat some more while maintaining a nutritional balance. This makes a lot of sense but with the grind of school, off season tournaments, and a variety of workouts it can be very hard for players to maintain a healthy eating lifestyle.
For players who are serious about reaching their goals of playing at the next level, make sure you’re taking care of your bodies. Eat healthy foods, drink a lot of water, and get plenty of rest. Avoid fried foods, sodas, candy, chips as much as possible and make sure you take healthy snacks with you when you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time. For players who have scholarship offers or are guaranteed to be playing division 1 basketball, you’re going to learn really soon that coaches in college take nutrition very seriously. These coaches offer scholarships to players with the expectation that the student athlete is going to be serious about their diet and strength and conditioning. Do yourself a favor and make eating healthy a priority. It’s a great habit which will help prepare you for success at the next level.
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