There is a lot of nutrition misinformation floating about the squash world. It is the responsibility of coaches to encourage responsible nutrition on the part of their squash players. What a squash coach needs is a few trusted tools and resources. I have been teaching basic nutrition to coaches and college undergraduates since 1992 – my qualifications being the academic preparation I received during my BPHE and M.A. in Physical Education – in addition to attending numerous racquet-sport specific nutrition workshops, and the reading of hundreds of nutrition articles (from trusted sources) to stay current and up-to-date.
Here are my top 3 current tools/resources:
- Especially with the shortening of the length of squash matches due to the move to PAR scoring, following basic rules of nutrition will satisfy the needs of 90% of squash players (vegetarians and vegans need to do a little more work). The U.S. Mypyramid site contains most of the information a squash coach will need.
- Sign up for the Coaching Association of Canada’s Sport Nutrition Newsletter – the occasional e-mails are a great prompt for coaches to stay current of any changes (and there are not really that many).
- Concerned with maintaining your playing weight in the off-season? Lose It! is a great free iPhone app that can help a coach track their nutritional intake and weight maintenance/loss. The visual feedback (graphs updated daily) on goal progress are a big advantage over handwritten tools:
Application for Squash Coaches:
- Discourage the adoption of untested (and often expensive) nutritional fads by your athletes.
- Stay up to date with reputable nutritional resources.
- Be a good nutritional role model.