Diet and exercise for student-athletes


Philip Zoppi – Sports Writer

Southern athletes not only need to workout during the year but they also need to eat and hydrate themselves well.

Having a healthy diet can lead to better production in games. It can be tempting to eat poorly while living at college with greasy and unhealthy foods surrounding you at all times, but athletes should try to avoid that.

Nicole Grossbard, senior captain for the women’s basketball team, knows that eating right can go a long way in helping her on the court.

“As athletes, it’s so important that we are monitoring what goes in our bodies both good and bad,” said Grossbard. “Adding in lean meats, fruits and vegetables helps us maintain energy throughout the day and on the court.”

Grossbard logs the second most minutes on the team with 31.4 minutes per game. That time on the court requires a lot of physical exertion, so it is important to hydrate to make all of those minutes productive.

Grossbard learned that hydrating herself was vital to her success when she started playing at Southern Connecticut.  

“Before Southern, I had no idea what it meant to be hydrated.  I would go an entire day drinking only a bottle of water and some sips during practice,” said Grossbard.

Grossbard changed the way she hydrates and eats when she arrived to Southern, as she started all 29 games for the Owls this season.

Basketball is not the only sport that requires good eating habits and staying hydrated. Vasilios Grigorakos, an inside linebacker on the football team, gets guidance from his coaches on how to eat.

Tom Godek, the head coach of the football team, and other coaches on staff advise players to drink lots of water, Gatorade, eat vegetables, while still including carbs and protein in their diet. This kind of diet is communicated from the coaches to the players all season long.  

Grigorakos said that early in training camp, usually during August, coaches try and implement a diet that will help players during the season. Grigorakos knows that eating nutritiously is the athlete’s responsibility.  

“You have to be willing and motivated to actually do it,” Grigorakos said. “Sometimes after practice you’re tired so it’s tough to actually go make a healthy meal when there’s a pizza sitting right in front of you, but you have to make the choice to eat healthy.”

Grigorakos led the team in tackles and started all 11 games. Eating healthy and working out during the year are two things Grigorakos said gave him the ability to remain on the field.  

Grigorakos and Grossbard both had to change their diets when they got to Southern. Joey Wallace, a freshman guard on the men’s basketball team, had to do the same thing.

Wallace averaged 26.6 minutes as a freshman and made the Northeast-10 conference All-Rookie Team. Before Southern, Wallace did not have the best diet but decided to completely change that this year.

“I changed my diet tremendously,” said Wallace. “I don’t eat chips, fattening foods, McDonalds or anything like that. I feel like I’ve gotten bigger and gained weight since I’ve got to Southern because of that.”

Grossbard, Grigorakos, and Wallace all credit a big portion of their success as Southern athletes to eating well and consistently working out.

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