— By Steffani Ford,
Student Dietitian, Bond University


5:15am: buzz buzz buzz… the most irritating noise I will hear in your whole day. It’s the alarm.. snooze it…

5:24am: Buzz buzz buzz.. why do they make the snooze time 9 minutes? I pull myself out of bed throw my hair into a messy bun, get dressed and I’m out the door to hit 30 agonising minutes of a spin class.

6:30am: Spin class over, feeling exhausted, yet satisfied for starting my day off on an active foot! Home to shower, make a nutritious breakfast and get to the office.

9am: Debrief on Cricket Australia, what is happening in the day, what the expectations are and location of best coffee shop.

9:30am: Data entry – I was given the task of analysing every players hydration status over the past 12 months. Cricket Australia has an app where players are able to test at home their waking USG hydration and record through the app, where the information is sent straight to a database. The data found that over the past year when tested, players were found to be hydrated 74% of the time and dehydrated 26% of the time. From this data there will be consults with individual players on hydration techniques.

11am: Meeting with TECHNICHE ANZ – cooling and warming apparel to discuss the potential for purchasing new products for the players to wear during training and matches. The result of this: there is amazing new technology which cools ice like bricks which can fit into a vest to 14 degrees. This temperature has been shown to be the most effective in cooling the system and bringing core body temperature down whilst avoiding freeze burn on the skin. Cricket Australia are in the process of making a deal with the company for a large supply.

11:30am: Resource development of education materials for coaches surrounding the importance of nutrition in fast bowlers, particularly in the development squads. Fast bowlers have a different type of workload compared to other players, resulting in unique nutrition requirements. We are recommending that the coaches allow the boys to stop for a snack break mid training session. The QLD 19s boys squad have recently seen many stress fractures in their fast bowlers. Recent evidence suggests that consuming a calcium supplement or a high calcium snack such as yoghurt prior to training can decrease the risk of stress fractures.

12:30pm: Lunch – Left over Thai green curry, and a chat about how the women’s team won against NSW on the weekend.

1pm: Into the kitchen – Cooking dinner for the women’s team post training. Into the oven goes pork shoulder in Asian marinade to be slowly turned into pulled pork. Also prepped a large Asian coleslaw, cut some steamed green veg, steamed rice into the rice cookers, a chickpea and sweet potato Moroccan curry for the vegetarian and a low fat sticky date pudding for dessert.

3pm: Out to the nets – Catching up with the boys 19s team and dropping off a nutrition survey which will direct the nutrition education talk next week. Mingling with the boys in the relaxed setting makes it easy to check up on how they are going, answer any questions they have and remind them when their next skinny’s are to be taken. This age group of boys aren’t forth coming with information, so this setting makes it easy to grab snippets of information.

4:30pm: Into the gym – The same with the girls team, answering any questions, congratulating them on the win and giving some advice when necessary.

5:30pm: Back into the kitchen – finish prepping dinner for the girls.

6pm: Hungry girls turn up for training and dinner is served – this is the other side of sports dietetics, this is where you are able to be “the nice guy” – you are supplying the team with dinner in a relaxed happy atmosphere. But it’s not all to benefit them. This is where you can oversee (subtly) the portion sizes the players are having; they can ask if they are choosing the right foods. You learn a lot about the players from this environment, whilst gaining their trust and friendship.

7pm: Serve the much anticipated dessert

7:20pm: Dishes, clean up, any final questions from the players.

8:15pm: Drive the hour back down the highway and reflect on the day. Making a difference in sport isn’t always about sitting in consult rooms and counting how many grams of protein was in each meal. Sometimes it is being out in the field and answering spontaneous questions, sometimes it is cooking for the players, it’s reminding them of appointments, and ensuring there is water out on field practice in 30 degree heat. The job isn’t always conventional, but it is rewarding.

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