2011 Nutrition Update for Squash Coaches

August 7, 2011

I taught my first nutrition course, “Fitness & Foodstuff” for Toronto’s West end YWCA way back in 1979, and 15 years later started teaching sports nutrition as part of the Coaching Association of Canada’s Level 1, 2 and 3 Theory Certification program.  Although there have been numerous attempts since then to “revolutionize” sport nutrition, the basic principles have stayed the same – there is no magical panacea that will propel your squash athletes to excellence without effort!

To make a long story short, the principles of basic healthy eating, are the same principles that govern sport nutrition.  A useful recent innovation is the USDA decision to move away from the “Food Pyramid” to the “Food Plate”.  The new approach is summarized on a very user-friendly website:  ChooseMyPlate.gov., and you can find my previous post on nutrition for squash coaches here.

The site has downloadable printable resources, some great interactive tools for your players, and a section for professionals (that is you squash coach), to help them shift from teaching the Pyramid to the plate.

If you do not already, follow @MyPlate on Twitter – an effortless way to stay current on nutrition that can help your squash players.

If you want an online resource that is a little more sport specific, I recommend the Coaching Association of Canada’s “Sport Nutrition Tips page (subscribing to their email newsletter is an effortless way to keep up).


Coaching Squash Nutrition is not Rocket Science

May 6, 2010

There is a lot of nutrition misinformation floating about the squash world.  It is the responsibility of coaches to encourage responsible nutrition on the part of their squash players.  What a squash coach needs is a few trusted tools and resources. I have been teaching basic nutrition to coaches and college undergraduates since 1992 – my qualifications being the academic preparation I received during my BPHE and M.A. in Physical Education – in addition to attending numerous racquet-sport specific nutrition workshops, and the reading of hundreds of nutrition articles (from trusted sources) to stay current and up-to-date.

Here are my top 3 current tools/resources:

  1. Especially with the shortening of the length of squash matches due to the move to PAR scoring, following basic rules of nutrition will satisfy the needs of 90% of squash players (vegetarians and vegans need to do a little more work).  The U.S. Mypyramid site contains most of the information a squash coach will need.
  2. Sign up for the Coaching Association of Canada’s Sport Nutrition Newsletter – the occasional e-mails are a great prompt for coaches to stay current of any changes (and there are not really that many).
  3. Concerned with maintaining your playing weight in the off-season?  Lose It! is a great free iPhone app that can help a coach track their nutritional intake and weight maintenance/loss.  The visual feedback (graphs updated daily) on goal progress are a big advantage over handwritten tools:

Application for Squash Coaches:

  1. Discourage the adoption of untested (and often expensive) nutritional fads by your athletes.
  2. Stay up to date with reputable nutritional resources.
  3. Be a good nutritional role model.

Coffee – A Squash Coach’s Best Friend!

August 28, 2009

A standard part of my Sports Nutrition spiel whether I am teaching a Coaching Certification Course or speaking to junior squash campers is the tongue-in-cheek promotion of coffee consumption.  I enjoy the part of my talk because the common perception appears to be that coffee is “bad for you”.

Coffee = Energy!

Coffee = Energy!

As a current owner of five different espresso machines I should come clean with my bias before I go any further.  I usually cite five benefits of coffee consumption – several of them potential benefits for squash players:


Squash Science Resource Update – August ’09

August 12, 2009

Many of the sport science resources that squash coaches use continue to evolve.  Here are three updates from trusted sources:

I   Thera-Band Academy Adds Web 2.0 Tools for Coaches

August 11, 2009

Dear Thera-Band Academy Subscriber

I trust you’ve found the Thera-Band Academy to be a useful tool for you. This is the 10th Anniversary of the Academy… and much has changed since then. I wanted to let you know about some new tools and websites that will help us improve our communication with you. Using the latest social media and networking sites, we hope to enhance your experience within the Academy. Please take a brief moment to check out these new tools…

I hope these new tools are useful! Thanks for your continued loyalty and support!

Phil Page, PT, ATC, MS, CSCS
ppage@thera-band.com
Director of Education & Research
1245 Home Ave
Akron, OH 44310  Read the rest of this entry »

Do Squash Coaches Need a Nutritionist’s Help?

September 12, 2008
USDA My Pyramid

USDA My Pyramid

I have attended at least 20 nutrition for sport workshops over the years, and have found that the concepts behind good sports nutrition are very similar to those of nutrition for the general populace. I have taught sports nutrition to coaches and college students in my courses since 1992, so I rely mostly on the Food Pyramid to guide my educational efforts. But as the coach of a women’s squash team, I also include a mini-lecture on iron every season (and I also keep an eye out for signs of disordered eating). The Canada Food Guide is also a great free resource for squash players – and it is available in more than 10 languages. Read the rest of this entry »