Staying in shape for an athletic season can be a taxing undertaking for most athletes. Sacrifices of time and diet have become a recipe for athletes to maintain proper playing weight.
“Keeping my weight is not an issue with me, but I did find myself becoming stressed when I could not eat what I want to eat,” said Ruben Felder, 21, a senior health care student from Miami who was a wrestler last year.
Kyle Gaines, assistant athletic trainer for FAMU, said many athletes have to keep themselves on a strict diet that consist of fruits, vegetables, pasta and lean meats. Athletes have to be disciplined in order to keep themselves on a strict diet so that their weight is appropriate to play their respective sport.
“We definitely want our athletes to stay away from greasy foods and high fat content,” Gaines said.
Gaines said athletes also have to watch the liquid intake.
“We also like for our athletes to stay away from beverages such as coffee and tea because they can dehydrate the player and cause them to cramp,” Gaines said.
Certain foods are not the only things that athletes have to be cognizant of. Student athletes must also monitor muscle mass.
Ledawn Gibson, head coach for the Lady Rattler basketball team, said dieting depends on the players’ spot on the floor.
“Depending on the position, you want guards to be strong and we put guards in the weight room to make them stronger,” Gibson said.
Latasha Shipman, assistant coach for post development of ladies basketball, said if freshman athletes are coming from high school and they did not get the adequate training before they entered college, they have to transform themselves in order to be suitable players.
“According to the program they come from, they do or do not lift weights. We have to transform the players in order to develop muscles.”
Rattler offensive lineman Javier Wallace, 20, a senior public relations student from Austin, said he has felt the difficulty of being an athlete.
“It has been pressure for me coming from my coach because he wanted me to gain weight over the summer,” Wallace said.
Javier said many coaches want their players to be heavier depending on the position played.
“Coaches want you to be heavier and stronger because you are going against the heavier guys, it can be stressful at times, but I still love football,” Wallace said.
Student athletes have no choice but to adjust to the rigors of dieting.
“A lot of athletes understand they are not a typical student,” Shipman said. “You are an athlete and you know what will be demanding”.