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Posted in: General

Diet and Nutrition! Do you think more coaches should have more knowledge in Diet and nutrition

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  • pippaglen

    In February this Year I decided to leave my job as a support worker working with the homeless to support my own family as they was struggling with me being out at work 16 hrs a day and working shift patterns, partner with his new venture of running his own business as a MOT test station I decided to support him with his venture and become his admin assistant, this would enable me to spend much needed quality time with my children and be their for them and concentrate on my coaching.   Over past few months working with my partner and running the admin side of the business I do find it a little boring bearing in mind I'm an extremely active individual and always on my feet I'm  not used to being stuck behind a desk, I find myself twiddling my fingers so I decided to look to see what online course's there was about, I stumbled across a Diet and Nutrition course that was of course free on a government scheme. I applied for the course and was accepted.  I have since completed the course and passed all the assessments I'm just waiting on approval from  external moderator.  I felt the course was extremely helpful and found myself looking up information I probably wouldn't have even considered. I feel the course will help me to help athletes gain a better insight to the foods they consume and the nutritional value and how different foods can impact on their health and on their training .  I now feel confident enough to provide a health eating plan although I would like to take the level 3 course as I found this course interesting and worth while.  I have also looked into the way that myself and my family eat and have changed my own way of eating due to the better knowledge and understanding of food.

    • Should more coaches learn more about diet and nutrition?
    • Have you competed a diet and nutrition course if so what was your experience
    • Have you been able to pass nutritional information to your athletes to help them either loose weight or put gain weight. 

  • skitson

    Hi Emma. Hope you are well. As coaching evolves and continues to professionalise do you think coaches create this self made pressure around them to assume this omniscient role? Needless to say, I believe there is great value in coaches learning more about nutrition and how it impacts the body especially in light of large amounts of research in recent years on how it effects mood, sleep patterns, recovery and so on. I guess for the majority of coaches taking that decision will be influenced by the external factors at play such as time for example, the audience in front of them and the longer term aims of consuming new knowledge to name a few. I haven't completed any specific course, just acquired limited knowledge over time as an athlete and now coach but plan to attend a workshop in September which  Leap are running. It is an introductory nutritional workshop in partnership with Team Beds & Luton and the University of Bedfordshire to provide coaches with some initial support in this area. I am looking forward to this and how I can appropriately apply this learning to support those I coach. Also, because some breakfast is provided. 


  • pippaglen

    Hi Sion!

    Thanks for your response. Like yourself from an ex athlete of athletics to a coach as an athlete I was never given any information about diet and nutrition there wasn't really the information like there is today. I feel as a coach I would rather have the knowledge and information to hand and give a little advice or even steer athlete's to the right person then to tell my athletes "sorry I don't know". I know its more knowledge to learn and take on board but it's all worth the past few months it has taken me to gain better knowledge of diet and nutrition and even for my family. 

     Great to hear your attending a introduction into nutrition workshop, I haven't yet found a workshop like this close to me yet, You will have to let me know how you get on and if the information was useful to you. 

  • skitson

    I agree, at least being able to signpost to the right person. Yes hopefully this will be a good starting point. I am hoping they actually bring the nutrition examples they mention to the course making it a practical session.

  • pippaglen

    For me I have learned so much on the course and so glad I did it. The Course wasn't just about Diet and nutrition it was also about eating disorders, Nutritional needs for a variety of individuals, principles of weight management.  I have just had a response on twitter stating that "A little knowledge can sometimes be dangerous but too little could mean we perpetuate the many myths!"  For me on the course I found interesting was learning about eating disorders this I wasn't really expecting on the course but it was interesting for me to see how it effected the lives of parent's / family members and friends I did some digging around and researching different blogs I found parents screaming out for help with there children / young adults with ED I even watch a film on Netfix call "To the bone" a inspiring film that will help others see how individuals with ED see themselves and how destructive this can be within the family How to recognise the signs of ED this may help many coaches in all sports to recognise the signs and symptoms and to be able to signpost parents to there GP. 

  • I've completed an online Nutrition course through Groupon (of all places!) which was okay, nothing majorly in depth but great as a starter. I also completed a Nutrition module when completing my Sports Science degree - we covered a lot of things, but not massively in depth but I did some further reading around it and my assignment was on performance enhancers ie: caffeine etc. I would have liked to delve more into how the food we eat provides energy, which foods work best together etc and how performance can be enhanced with whole foods, rather than supplementation. 

    I do think it's crucial for coaches to have some knowledge of Nutrition and how it can benefit differing areas of sport: training, competitions etc. What I will say is, although a coach may have knowledge passing that on could be tricky. You're probably more likely to have success with an athlete who is well into their training / career, who wants to succeed and will help themselves.

    I've struggled to be honest as I teach mainly children ... children who turn up to their training sessions with a pack of Oreo cookies and a Frijj milkshake ... or a coke to get them through, bought by their parents. I repeatedly tell them (nicely!) that they should be drinking water, high sugar or glucose drinks are not needed due to them not hitting a level of exertion that requires them to rehydrate rapidly etc. but it does fall on deaf ears. 

  • Sam10457

    Hi Emma

    i have completed the same nutrition course as Emma (via Groupon) - thought it was well structured and gave a good overview on nutrition. i think coaches definitely need knowledge of nutrition as an athletes training and development should be looked as a global package - treating the athlete as a whole and not just the hole within the athlete. I train adult endurance runners and the knowledge i have learned has helped with their individual training and racing needs :-) 

  • fibubb

    hi Emma, great post and gives us a lot of food for thought(no pun intended!😄) I think it is essential that coaches have some good basic knowledge of diet and nutrition. the whole area is a minefield these days with so many fad diets and an endless array of sports supplements all promising to turn athletes in to their equivalent of Adam Peaty.

    I coach mostly serious amateur horse riders for whom the same choices i have described above also apply to the horse and riders often look at the horse as the problem before looking at themselves. But as had been said before, its good to have diet and nutrition knowledge for those who genuinely want to improve and learn. They may not be at a level where a sports nutritionist is needed but it still relevant and beneficial for them to have such advice.

    Finding a good course that provides the essential basic information used to be difficult but it sounds like other coaches have found some good ones.

    thanks again for a good thought provoking post!

  • pippaglen

    Hi Dannielle Hope your well!

    If and when you have time why don't you take a look at the diet and nutrition course I completed I did really enjoy the course. What I didn't realise is the course had its own books you could work from which I wasn't aware of and ended up do the first 2 assessments without these books and did much research and possibly gave them more information than they actually wanted.  In the end I did most of the work through researching apart from a couple when you actually needed to use the books. 


    The course was free through Skill Network unsure if it is still free! worth looking into.

  • pippaglen

    Hi Samantha

    I totally agree, I think having some knowledge is far better than having non at all and to be able to advise developing athletes on what the better foods are this may help them keep in shape. I feel many young athletes think that the food we consume today are the healthy option and that some parent aren't actually aware of the nutritional value of the food we eat today ( Mcdonalds, KFC, Burger king) I really can't stand these sorts of places and my children actually hate foods from these places good for me having 5 children as it would cost me a fortune. I've always said a little of what you like doesn't hurt. 

  • pippaglen

    Hi Fiona 

    Love the Pun laughing. Diet have become even bigger than before which for me is actually alarming to say so many people are constantly on diets and believe that these so called diet pills will help you to loose weight when in fact you may loose more than you bargain for. I was reading an article a few days ago about these diet pills and that how dangerous they can be. The government are in the process of trying to stop these from being sold due to a young 24 year old died after consuming them.


    Again this is due to the lack of knowledge of what the right foods are to consume.

  • That's brilliant, thanks so much Emma!

    I'm always on the look out for CPD courses and this would be amazing! I'll have a look when I have put my two whirlwinds to bed tonight! 

  • pippaglen

    If you look on Face Book they have been advertising a lot  they even have a understanding Autism course which I'm thinking of doing.

    Message me your struggling and I will give you their direct number.

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