Role of Coach in Healthy Eating
Coaching happens on and off the ice, so how does one coach healthy food choices?
Coaches have the ability to foster a culture of healthy eating within a team setting.
Depending on the age group of the athletes, parent involvement and buy-in to the healthy eating for sport may be needed. Coaches can provide athletes and their parents with resources that have pre- and post-hockey meal ideas.
These resources should also include reasoning behind consuming certain food or food groups, as this will help spark motivation to comply with the suggestions. Coaches can also work with parents to coordinate a tournament potluck. For example, coaches could lay out 10 different foods that should be consistently included in the potluck (e.g., fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, yogurts, sandwiches). Parents could then take turns bringing each food item and set up the items “buffet” style for the athletes during a tournament lunch break.
To encourage athlete hydration, coaches can also invest in a set of reusable team water bottles that are constantly refilled to ensure they are available to athletes before, during and after competing.
For tournaments held at your local facility, coaches can work with the local concessionaire to ensure healthy meals and snacks are available for the home and visiting teams. Talk with your coach about how healthful eating can be incorporated for the upcoming season.