As 2013 Aussie Rules football season draws closer and Holiday Inn Melbourne signs on to support country football for another year, we caught up with Bendigo Pioneers coach and nutritionist David Newett for his tips for the season.
How long have you been working with the Bendigo Pioneers?
This is my second season as coach of the Pioneers. I started with AFL Victoria in October 2011.
What do you love about working with the team?
There are several reasons that make the role as coach enjoyable. Assisting and observing young players develop into well-rounded young men who happen to be good footballers, is very satisfying. Moulding a group of individual players together to work for the greater good of the team is a great challenge that I thoroughly enjoy. And finally, watching the players on the field at the end of a game victorious knowing all their hard work has been rewarded is a great feeling.
What is the dietary/health advice you give players going into the football season? Nutrition and hydration are absolutely paramount to maximizing player performance. Young players require a huge volume of the right food types in order to fuel their bodies for exercise and replace protein stores to build muscle for strength gains. There is an avoidance of fatty fast foods with a concentration on low GI carbohydrates during the day. This ensures blood sugar levels remain constant throughout the day and glycogen levels are high for training sessions. Post training players consume carbohydrates within two hours of training.
Pre game meals can vary between players but again it is carbohydrate dominant. Post game players consume combination of protein, fat and carbohydrate based foods such as pizza and pasta’s to help replenish and rebuild the body’s entire stores.
Why is it important for sportspeople to look after themselves and stay healthy?
Living a healthy lifestyle is important if you want to give yourself the best opportunity to be the best you can be. The difference between athletic performances can come down to the finer details of an individual lifestyle. Sleep patterns, nutritional intake and stress levels for example can all impact on performance.
Living a healthy lifestyle does not mean not enjoying life. It does include adequate training, a social network and educational/career interests, which are important for people’s wellbeing. It is very easy to lose focus and become unbalanced. For this reason family, coaches and friends play a big part in maintaining the athletes equilibrium.
What is your advice for young players wanting to work their way to the top?
If you want it bad enough, work hard, work hard and work harder. Be optimistic and never give up. The higher you aim the higher you land.
Who in the AFL do you think everyone should be looking out for this year?
This season will be extremely competitive with the gap closing down on the top four. There are three teams that I think may play a bigger role in the finals campaign this year. Carlton is one, based on their start to last year and then the injuries that occurred. If they can remain injury free they have a talented list and with Mick Malthouses experienced coaching they would be looking for a high top 8 finish. The West Coast Eagles are the second team.
Their list is in its prime and again a few injuries to key players robbed them of their best team for a big part of the season. These players would have certainly helped their finals campaign. The third is Geelong. They have lost some experience with the likes of Scarlett retiring but their talented younger players will improve and their core group of players will be hungry for another premiership tilt.
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