With the push forward to the GAC division II conference, SNU is making its best effort to help its student athletes succeed. With major improvement including a new turf field for the football team and a new press box for the baseball team, it is obvious the university is in the right direction. The success of the athletics at the university will come down to one important aspect: the health and fitness of the athletes. Giving the athletes the right tools to help achieve greatness on the field is something we must do to take the next steps in achieving a GAC championship.
Sports nutrition is something that has been improving every year for college athletes. Division I schools like the University of Oklahoma have strict diets and workout plans for its athletes. Players are also required to eat every meal and log their food intake for the week.
SNU does not have as much of an emphasis on sports nutrition, but that doesn’t mean we can’t. Right now at SNU, student athletes are on their own when it comes to the well being of their nutritional health. The school does offer the healthier option, but it isn’t always what the athletes choose.
An option the school could explore is creating a system for the athlete that works with food provided by SNU. The athletes could get an email or text giving them the best meal options for that day to help them build muscle and strengthen bones. If students eat healthy, the school could see a major improvement in performance. If students choose to follow the program, we would also see less injuries and a major improvement in energy. Fast food and pizza have been known to hinder the success of athletes and cannot be a part of a regular diet of athletes who want to succeed.
Ultimately, the choice to eat healthy comes down to the student. This isn’t a problem that is directly SNU’s, but the athletic department at SNU could be the one to make the athletes more aware of the healthy options. Eating habits formed in college have been known to follow people for the rest of their lives. If a program was put in place by the school to help athletes pick the healthiest option, we could actually help break bad eating habits, provide longer lives for our future alumni and achieve many GAC championships.