The importance of dieting to Marist athletes

Marist College has over 20 varsity sports teams on campus along with several club teams as well. With the variety of sports that Marist has to offer, there seems to be a difference in how each team handles their diet to stay in shape for their specific sport. Players from several Marist sports gave their insight and experience with dieting on their respective Marist team and how they may differ from those of other teams.

Members from Marist baseball team, club hockey team, and women’s swimming and diving team have strong opinions about how athletes should handle their dieting methods if they want to be healthy and in shape for their team.

Meredith Wurtz, a senior captain for the Marist women’s swimming and diving team, knows how difficult it can be to maintain a healthy way to eat when there isn’t a strict diet program for her team. “The cafeteria at Marist can sometimes be an issue when we try to eat the right way,” Wurtz said. “We need to eat a lot of calories and with the cafeteria we have, it can be hard to eat good calories along with the lack of protein it has besides grilled chicken.” Wurtz also mentioned the more strict portion of their diet, which is there dry season. One month prior to MAAC championships, the Marist swimming and diving teams have to remain dry.

Sarah Mosca, another senior captain of the Marist women’s swimming and diving team, added on to Wurtz’s comments about their team’s diet. “The reason why we need to eat so many good calories is because we are typically burning 2,000-2,500 calories per workout and we generally have two workouts each day,” said Mosca.

Every team at Marist knows that they need to eat healthy and stay in shape in order to be successful at this level. However, not every team may take it as seriously or as strict as other teams do.

Nick Rudzewick, a junior defenseman on the Marist club hockey team, explained how at the club level, dieting isn’t as enforced as varsity sports. “We don’t have a team diet but we do our best on our own to eat healthy before games like eat grilled chicken stuff like that,” said Rudzewick. One major temptation that can ruin a diet is the consumption of fast food. Even the club hockey team knows this because sometimes when they get back to campus late from away games they want to be able to get food quickly. Luckily, as a team they have found ways to avoid the fast food temptation in order to maintain some sense of a diet. “We try to get food for after the game beforehand or try to find better options so we don’t fall into a bad eating habit with fast food,” said Rudzewick.

Rudzewick isn’t the only one on the club hockey team that had an opinion about dieting and staying healthy. Max Henry, a senior defenseman, also understands that not having a strict health plan puts more pressure on the players to make eating decisions for themselves. “Without having a set team diet, we all basically understand that as a team we need to eat right and stay in shape if we want to be successful on the ice and in the win column,” Henry said.

Henry believes that athletes who are at this level should understand what to eat and what not to eat. “We can eat what we want but we are expected to perform well every time we’re on the ice, including practices, and if eating like crap slows you down you should know not to eat like that,” said Henry.

The Marist defenseman, Rudzewick, realizes that the way his teammates handle their eating habits may be a lot different compared to other Marist athletes because they are a club team. Other teams do take it more seriously than the club hockey team, especially some players from the Marist baseball team.

Greg Kocinski, a senior first baseman, is an example of a Marist athlete who really stays on the diet plan for his team. “The packet we get is more of a guide than a strict diet plan,” said Kocinski. “The main focus the packet has is for us to increase our protein intake to get bigger and it teaches us the importance of carbs as a source of fuel for us on the field.” Kocinski understands the importance of self-discipline and self-control when it comes to staying healthy. “The trainers and coaches can only inform you on the matter,” said Kocinski, “It’s really up to yourself to follow through and to hold your teammates accountable as well.”

Helping your teammates stay on track is just as important as eating healthy yourself. Ryan Thomas, a senior relief pitcher, is another player on the baseball team that really enforces the health packet for him and his teammates. “The most important things I look for in my teammates is to make sure they are eating good pregame meals and staying hydrated through practices and games,” said Thomas. “Your team is only as strong as your weakest player, so I want to help my teammates be in the best shape possible so we have a more successful season too.”

Some people may think that the baseball team doesn’t need to have any diet or health plan because it is considered to be such a slow and long game. However, both Thomas and Kocinski will contradict that theory. “Each player needs to be in shape no matter what position they play,” said Thomas. “You need to be quick to be able to steal bases, track fly balls down in the outfield and catchers are squatting in position for an entire game,” said Kocinski. “Those are just some examples too, everyone really needs to be focused on eating healthy and staying in shape so we can be an all around good team.”

Marist athletes have their own ways of dealing with their eating habits and ways of staying healthy. All of the athletes, no matter what sport you play, understand the importance of eating right. “I know that we, as a team, try and eat as healthy as we can even though there’s not the most strict policy in place for us,” said Wurtz. “However, I do know that other teams do the same regardless of what they play because it is an extremely important factor in being successful with playing a college sport to your fullest potential.”

The athletes are somewhat thankful to have teammates who respect and follow the guidelines of dieting properly and remaining healthy. “If dieting and staying in shape wasn’t a priority to most of the athletes, then we would be in serious trouble and I’m guessing that some of those athletes wouldn’t remain on whichever team they play for,” said Kocinski. Thomas backed up Kocinski’s statement when he said, “If I didn’t push myself to eat right and stay away from fast food, I would not be an effective player and the value I have on the team would slowly diminish and it could take away playing time easily.”

“Athletes handle it in their own way, but they all understand that eating healthy is a huge part of their everyday life as a college athlete,” said Mosca.

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