Does a "Student Athlete's Diet" Exist Here at SMC?

Due to lack of encouragement from the coaching staff and lack of school funding, more and more student athletes need to rely on their own "self-taught" healthy habits to keep fit and in tiptop shape in order to stay on that last, at times elusive, roster spot until the season's end.

Throughout the centuries of sports' existence, athletes were held responsible to stay in tip-top shape during a performance and on their own free time, but, in recent years the burden of staying fit has been a "give-in" for coaches, trainers and all other members of a player's staff.

However, when discussing student athletics; unless a player attends a 4-year college/universities, all the worries of getting into shape during the off-season and keeping it steady throughout the regular season falls upon these students with little to no help from their coaches, trainers or the amenities expected from a school to provide to their athletes.

"We don't have a 'special diet' to stay fit," affirmed Philip Hale, a freshman running-back for the Santa Monica College Corsair Football Team. "We do whatever it takes to stay in shape, by eating lot's of carbs and lifting loads of weights whenever we feel like we want to, so that we can get bigger and better during the off-season and continue staying like that throughout the entire regular season."

Seeing that SMC is a community based college and not a traditional 4-year university, the school's lack in funds and help from special team advisors deeply affect the players.

Said Hale, "You know, being in a community college, it's like a bigger version of high school in that you take care of yourself, nobody helps you except, maybe, your injury trainers. But if this were a 4-year college, we would have dieticians, nutritionists, special trainers- on and off the field, and the necessary, yet sufficient, equipment needed to keep our bodies in the shape we need, to perform at our highest level."

Not only due these issues affect the football players, but the basketball players too.

"Diet--what diet? I'll eat Carl's Jr. every time I get a chance to and than later on just go out and play some (basket) ball with my friends," laughed red shirt freshman forward David Ward. "I wish we had coaches or trainers standing over our head telling us what to eat and drink or what kind of exercises we need to do!" Lack of school funding for athletics may seem like a reasonable excuse for the insufficient amount of machinery the athletes need to use, but why are the coaching staffs giving up on their players?

"Here, the coaches don't take you aside and notify you if your performance is starting to worsen," said Hale.

"You either do well or you don't and if you happen to really fall behind- you get cut (of the roster)," continued Hale. "What I can't understand is why they built this new, amazing field, but don't have the kind of machinery we need to use to stay fit. If we're treated like college athletes, why don't we have the type of help we need so that we can be successful and to do our best here?"

The truth of the matter is that until the school gets the kind of prestige, recruitment status and funding most prominent schools/universities have, this problem will continue to stick around and never be settled.

As for the "student athletes diet," it seems that for now and quite sometime until the college starts to change a bit for the better, players are just going to have to rely on the healthy habits they learned from Health class in high school and that constant flow of exercise they get from recreational sports activities

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