Improving performance: Universities using nutrition to help their athletes play better

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24 2013 7:45 p.m. MDT

Like Williams, he realized the guys he was competing against, and the guys he hoped to replace in the NFL, were bigger and stronger.

Both young men said the changes at the dinner table have made them better on the football field, and it’s a change head coach Kyle Whittingham sees.

“If you look back over the last several years, I think (nutrition) was the area where we were the furthest behind. And now I think we’ve caught up.”

Buying in

Wolfgram said student-athletes are buying into the program earlier and with more commitment.

I see the transition now,” she said. “If you want to be in a bigger-time athletic program, if you want to play at this level, if you want to push yourself to the max, then this is what you need to do. The more we hear of other schools doing this, of professional athletes focusing on nutrition, I think you’ll see them really grasping on to it.”

Wolfgram knows that changing lifelong habits isn't easy, but said athletes are more willing to participate if they understand why it matters.

“Sometimes they see it as another thing to do,” she said. “But (then) you explain, ‘I’m only trying to help you get to be a better athlete. This is not punishment; this is not drudgery; I’m not doing this because I don’t like you. I’m doing this to help you be a better athlete.'”

Twitter: adonsports

Email: adonaldson@deseretnews.com

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