Achieving Peak Performance - the role of other professionals. Nutritionist,Physiotherapist/Doctor,Psychologist, Coaches and Manager.

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Nutritionist- This person will give advice and support to people on their dietary matters relating to their health and well-being. However many people get confused with a nutritionist and a dieticians. Many nutritionists appear on television, in newspapers, magazines and write nutritional books. The nutritionist works out individual diets mainly, and decides on the percentage of food types that the individual person will require. Obviously this will vary on the amount of exercise you do because someone who does regular exercise will require more energy and therefore the nutritionist will recommend that this person has more carbohydrates. It is also important that the nutritionist monitors the athlete’s diet to see if performance is affected by the diet in any way. An example of this is when we eat bread it slows us down because it is a heavy food, therefore if you have a football match on Saturday, some players tend not to eat bread from Wednesday onwards. They will usually stick with foods that will give them energy, such as pasta, baked beans etc. A nutritionist will underline the importance that water has in our diets too, recommending that we try and drink 2.5litres of water a day, to help with concentration and staying focused when we are playing matches.

An example of a nutritionist and the jobs she has to do is Pamela Paul, who is the official dietician of Falkirk FC. She ensures that all players at the club are aware of the type of foods they should be eating on a daily basis. Her daily role at the club includes individually assessing the player nutritional status and intake, advice on their individual nutritional needs and requirements the changes that they will need to make in their food and drink. Pam holds regular group sessions for the U19 squad on a variety of lifestyle issues, including alcohol/drugs with specific reference to the effect of their performance, basic health and hygiene, sexually transmitted diseases as well as improving what they eat and eating away from home. Clearly Pam has made a huge impact on the club because one of the players, Dayne Robertson said “making changes to my diet has helped me to improve my performances on the pitch”.

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Physiotherapist/Doctor- They deal with diet during illness and injury and during rehabilitation that may occur due to an injury. These sort advice that they would include is percentages of the food types that the person should eat e.g. if you require     energy then the physio/doctor will advice your daily diet should have 40% of carbohydrates. Also reducing energy levels and increasing protein intake will rebuild the muscle cells. Illness may mean that certain foods cannot be consumed and therefore the doctor will give alterations to the patients. It is the physiotherapist’s job to monitor an athlete progress ...

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