Dieting and college sports: How much does one affect the other?


Special to The Leader


Division I athletes have an extreme diet and conditioning schedule they must maintain throughout the season. This diet consists of four separate workout time slots, each of which is followed by a meal of some sort.

Fredonia does not do this.

Fredonia and division III schools in general do not give their students nearly as strict of a diet plan as their division I counterparts. Supposedly, it is more of a loose guideline coaches suggest to players.

“As an administration and coaching staff, we don’t necessarily regulate diets per se — I don’t believe anyone on our staff has degrees or certifications in nutrition or counseling. However, if we recognize that something might not ‘look okay’ or if someone approaches us with a concern about unhealthy consumption habits or lack thereof, we have had conversations with the student-athlete,” said Megan Valentine, who is serving as the interim director of athletics at Fredonia.

Although D-III typically does not have strict guidelines to follow, a coach’s suggestion can go a long way.

“My coach during the season advises us, especially on away trips, on what we eat. For example, we have pregame meals together on road trips, and he’s always watching what we eat. We can’t have anything bad or unhealthy. We mostly eat subs or salads before a game,” said Fredonia women’s soccer sophomore, Olivia Coccitto.

“Yes, [playing] sports most definitely helps me maintain a healthier diet. It keeps me on track. I enjoy eating healthy when I’m working out or playing a soccer game. Eating healthier while playing sports just makes you feel better as a whole, mentally and physically,” said Coccitto.

Although sports push athletes to look towards healthier eating habits, this is not helpful if there is nowhere to eat healthy.

“I find it difficult to eat enough on the Fredonia campus during tennis season because the food is so expensive, and a meal plan only provides you with so much. If there are athletes that go to Cranston regularly, they probably do not have this same problem. It is really inconvenient during the few months when I am in season to get to Cranston everyday,” said Avril King, a sophomore on the women’s tennis team.

King is not the only student athlete that thinks this way.

“Honestly, I find it hard to eat the way I want to eat on Fredonia[‘s] campus. As a sophomore, I live on campus and I do not have a ton of options,” said Coccitto. With Cranston closing at seven, and Willies having ‘more fried food,’ it’s hard to eat healthy all the time. The C-store is nice because they have salads and yogurts, but I get sick of it after a while. I’m excited to live off campus next year so I can grocery shop and have way more, healthier options.”

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