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Healthy Athletes Program Links
“Proper nutrition-eating the right food at the right time-is vital to enable student athletes to train, compete, recover, heal and learn” (Collegiate and Professional Sports Dieticians Association CPSDA). Although high school athletes are physically active, they share the same poor diet habits as other teens. Many also engage in extreme diets, and take steroids or unregulated supplements, believing this will boost their performance (New York Times). Their increased nutritional needs put them at a high risk for fatigue and injury (CPSDA). Education can help students achieve their fitness and educational goals. “Students with greater knowledge of nutrition make better food choices” (CPSDA).
The Healthy Athletes Program is a 12-week program that teaches advanced sports nutrition topics in addition to our regular nutrition curriculum to high school students. Athletes learn important concepts like proper hydration, fueling up before and after a workout and eating to boost the immune system. The participants’ after school sports coach or physical education teacher delivers the curriculum with the assistance of interns who are majoring in nutrition.
The athletes also have the opportunity to learn from a certified trainer from SOSMentor who demonstrates exercises and stretches specific to their sport. SOSMentor provides training, curriculum, support, and supplies for the program.
We’ve documented the effects of the program with pre and post tests over the last two years. After participating in the Healthy Athletes Program, more students skip soda, eat fruits and vegetables and read the nutrition label when shopping.
Students rave about their new-found energy and confidence. Diana Garcia used to eat junk food like chips and candy, but the Healthy Athletes Program taught her “that it wasn’t good for my body.” Now that she snacks on granola bars and apples, she has more energy and her mood has improved. Since Jacqueline Gurrola learned to cut back on fast food, she feels more energetic, less tired and has more confidence. Jenny Estrada completely cut out soda and started drinking water and tea, which made her mom happy because “it’s cheaper that way too.”
Our athletes have inspired their friends and families to eat better and exercise along with them. Jasmin Goodwin’s family didn’t think about healthy eating before the program, but now Jasmin’s mom has joined a gym. “It’s a big part of our life now,” Jasmin says proudly. Student athletes also serve as role models for the entire school and are able to influence their peers to adopt healthier lifestyle choices.
If you are a coach or teacher interested in bringing the Healthy Athletes Program to your students, SOSMentor will provide all materials, including curriculum packets, lesson plans, worksheets, and educational materials. Our office also provides ongoing technical support. To get started, call us at (818) 222-4243 or send us an email at info@SOSMentor.org <mailto:info@SOSMentor.org>.
SOSMentor’s mission is to empower underserved youth to make healthy choices. We deliver innovative nutrition and fitness education that inspires kids to advocate for health in their schools, families, and communities.