Female College Athletes and the Struggle for Good Nutrition


When I came to college, three short months ago, I had never recognized a problem with my diet or my nutritional values, until I stepped on the court for preseason training. I had never been sick from any amount of running, any amount of training, nor any type of physical activity. However, on our first day of volleyball practice, I experienced my first-ever nutrition-based sickness, because I was unaware of how to nourish my body for a much higher level of competition. But, with the help of the athletic training staff of Lenoir-Rhyne University, I have been able to set up a nutrition plan that supplies me with the energy I need to get through the day and strenuous practices.

Although, I was frustrated with myself for not consuming the proper nutrients that my body needed, Lenka Shriver’s research, “Dietary Intakes and Eating Habits of College Athletes: Are Female College Athletes Following the Current Sports Nutrition Standards?” made me realize that several female athletes are also unaware of the proper nutritional standards. With the plan that we have created, I now meet the NCAA nutritional standards for a female college athlete by making a habit of eating a nutrient breakfast each morning and snacking throughout the day to supply my body for the whole day, rather than for just short bursts.  Snacks that I prefer include different types of nuts, peanut butter crackers, goldfish, apples and bananas. Also, any snack or meal eaten before activity should be low in fiber. Before practices and games, I typically eat some type of pasta, some type of chicken or turkey, and drink a Gatorade in order to meet my requirements for carbs and proteins, as well as compensate for the future loss of energy and nutrients. During our practices and games, our coaches give us plenty of two-minute breaks to hydrate our bodies which is highly emphasized by Georgia Tech’s Athletic Association in their article, “Nutrition for Volleyball: Hitting the Ball vs. Hitting the Wall,” which states that every fifteen minutes of activity, a player should drink roughly four to eight ounces of fluid to replenish what they have lost. Second behind breakfast, the post-competition meal is another difficult meal for the majority of athletes. Between visiting friends/families after games, obtaining treatment for injuries, or simply rushing to do homework, athletes seem to get sidetracked and fail to meet the thirty to forty-five-minute window after activity that the body is most optimal for energy storage. However, this meal is crucial in the recovery process, and it cannot be made up for later in the day.

This subject strikes me as one that should be given extra attention to in the collegiate setting, but also one that should be discussed before athletes enter their first semester of college athletics. Since I have had nutrition-based issues of my own as a collegiate athlete, I chose to highlight nutrition of the female college athlete as the subject of my annotated bibliography.

The bibliography presented below includes standards set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Georgia Tech’s Athletic Association, as well as a study conducted by Lenka Shriver, which reports the failure of Division 1 female college athletes to meet the minimum nutritional standards, and more importantly the standards for elite athletes. These sources provide a broad standard from the NCAA level, a narrower perspective from the Division-1 level at Georgia Tech, and research that indicates collegiate female athletes need more instruction and education on their nutrition in order for them to meet their peak in performance potential.

Whether this research will serve as preliminary writing for a further project in my Sports Nutrition class, I am not entirely sure yet. However, I can say that I have experienced the struggle of a nutritional imbalance as a female college athlete, and I will carry what I have learned with me in my future endeavors.

Annotated Bibliography

“Nutrition: For the Volleyball Student Athlete.” NCAA. National Collegiate Athletic Association, 2014. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

In “Nutrition: For the Volleyball Student Athlete,” the NCAA provides nutritional guidelines for volleyball players at the collegiate level. Proper nutrients are described for preseason, pre-competition, competition, and post-competition, as well as the offseason. Since volleyball is an explosive sport, rather than an endurance-based activity, a nutrition strategy that maximizes performance may include, “a balanced and consistent core eating and hydration plan […], sound nutrition practice before and during the game, and emphasizing recovery nutrition.”

Preseason foundations include not skipping meals in order to spread calorie intake, plenty of carbohydrate intake, a variety of foods, and hydration throughout the day. Pre-event fueling is best if consumed three to four hours before competition, and it should include fluids, protein, whole-grain carbohydrates, and low in fiber foods. An example of a pregame meal includes chicken breast, pasta, carrots, 1 or 2 percent milk, and fruit. During competition, the focus is to maintain hydration, therefore, replacing fluids every chance possible throughout the match. Recovery meals should include a significant amount of carbohydrates and plenty of water and/or sports recovery drinks. Once the season has ended, and the offseason has begun, it is important for players to monitor their weight but accept fluctuation due to possible loss in muscle mass, and it may be necessary to cut portion sizes to account for less training.

Shriver, Lenka H., Nancy M. Betts, and Gena Wollenberg. “Dietary Intakes and Eating Habits of College Athletes: Are Female College Athletes Following the Current Sports Nutrition Standards?” Journal of American College Health 61.1 (2013): 10-16. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

In this study, fifty-two Division 1 female college athletes were assessed by means of anthropometric measurements (height, body mass, body composition), a three-day food record, a twenty-four-hour recall, and a nutrition questionnaire in order to compare their dietary intakes and eating habits to the minimum sports nutrition standard. Female athletes are more prone to nutrition-related issues, such as eating disorders, body image issues, and weight management problems than their male counterpart. Elite athletes eat/snack five to six times a day, but the results of the study reported that most tested athletes eat fewer than three meals per day. Nearly all athletes’ energy intakes failed to meet their energy needs. The researchers concluded that female athletes should be given further information about nutritional values and eating habits in order to optimize nutritional statues, ensure proper recovery, and help them to reach their full performance potential.

Skinner, Rob, and Leah Thomas. “Nutrition for Volleyball: Hitting the Ball vs. Hitting the Wall.” ACC Sports Sciences. Georgia Tech Athletic Association, 29 Mar. 2010. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.

“Hitting the Ball Vs. Hitting the Wall,” focuses on the role that nutrition plays in volleyball and maintaining adequate energy intake for both practice and conditioning lessons. It is important in any sport to understand which energy systems are being used in order to ensure proper fueling. For example, volleyball uses the anaerobic (without oxygen) energy system in jumping and quick movements, such as sprints. The adenosine triphosphate creatine phosphate (ATP-PC) energy system is used for serving, hitting, blocking, and digging. Furthermore, the aerobic energy system is often not heavily relied on during matches, but may be important during training sessions and recovery periods. When it comes to daily nutrition, volleyball players should get about 6-8 grams of carbohydrates (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy), 1.0-1.5 grams of protein (red meat, poultry, fish, dairy, beans, nut), and 20-30% fat calories (olive oil, nuts, seeds) all per kilogram of body weight.

Pre-game meals should include high amounts of carbohydrates and high-quality protein. For example, a grilled chicken breast topped with marinara sauce, all atop a bowl of pasta and approximately thirty-two ounces of water or a sports drink such as Gatorade. During games and breaks it is crucial to drink four to eight ounces (1 mouthful = 1 ounce) of fluid should be consumed per every fifteen minutes of activity. Post game meals should be eaten no later than forty-five minutes after the finish of a match, since the body is in optimal storage mode between thirty and forty-five minutes after play. Meals after play should include plenty of carbohydrates and protein to help with storage of carbohydrates. This equation helps one to determine how many grams of carbohydrates they should consume after a match: Body Weight (in pounds) / 2 = Grams of Carbohydrates. In addition to single-game competition, tournament play nutrition is also discussed. If there is not enough time to eat another pre-game meal between matches, then high energy snacks should be consumed at tournaments. These may include energy bars, bagels with peanut butter, plain yogurt and granola, or chocolate milk and animal crackers.




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Chuck Klosterman and the Minor Details

Mike Collins interviews Chuck Klosterman

On Thursday, November 12, 2015, I had the opportunity to see Chuck Klosterman’s interview with Mike Collins, from “Charlotte Talks”, at 7pm in PE Monroe Auditorium. Chuck Klosterman was premiered as one of the chosen writers for Lenoir Rhyne University’s Visiting Writers Series. Klosterman is an author and critic who focusses on American popular culture. He grew up in a small town in North Dakota where his high school graduating class only had about twenty-three students. Looking back on high school, Klosterman compared his life in high school to something similar to Napoleon Dynamite, even though it didn’t seem like that at the time. After graduation, he attended the University of North Dakota where he found his love for writing by joining the college newspaper team.

After college, Klosterman was a journalist and critic before he moved to New York to find greater success in 2002. While in New York, he was a column writer for Spin (magazine). He has also written for CQ, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, The Believer, The Guardian, and The Washington Post. Now, Klosterman is the author of eight books, including 2 novels, and he is working on another book hopefully to be published during the summer of 2016. His early writing/critiquing was typically about heavy metal, rock, and other music genres, however, he also wrote about sports, which led him to a position at ESPN, writing with Bill Simmons in 2005.  From his time at ESPN, arose a position with Grantland.com, a sports and pop culture website, led by Bill Simmons. Klosterman stated that Grantland was financially secure and that the website did not have to make money to stay afloat. However, this past month, the website collapsed due to issues between Bill Simmons and ESPN. Although Chuck Klosterman focusses on mostly music and sports, his wife is the entertainment critic for Entertainment Weekly, so he also watches several movies and shows every day.

Recently, Klosterman interviewed pop star,Taylor Swift, who in his younger days, would have been a much more difficult interview for him due to his lack of interest in pop music. However, he described his encounter, as a “fake interaction” in which he spoke to her while making sure to get straight to his point, rather than attempting to have a normal conversation with her like most interviewers. Klosterman was uninterested in making it seem as if they were acquaintances or, less likely, friends through his interview. He wanted the facts and that was all.

Klosterman struck me as a very blunt individual which provides appropriate support for his writing as a critic. He doesn’t seem to care what anyone thinks about his writing or himself, but simply wants his opinion to be known. Mike Collins describes Klosterman as someone who sees through the cracks in the sidewalk, or in other words, someone who sees the details that we all fail to recognize. This is an aspect I would like to work on for my own writing, being able to see the minor details and interpret them, rather than just seeing the broad spectrum in front of me.

The Short-lived, yet Everlasting Friendship of Jeff Hobbs and Robert Peace


On Thursday, October 22, 2015, Jeff Hobbs, author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, spoke, as part of the Visiting Writers Series, to the Lenoir-Rhyne community about his novel and Robert Peace’s life. Hobbs discussed his and Rob’s friendship, as well as Rob’s impact on individuals who knew him.

As an 18-year-old attending one of the most prestigious universities in the country, Jeff Hobbs never expected his random roommate to become such an inspiration, nor did he expect their friendship to end as quickly as it did, roughly 12 years after meeting him for the very first time at Yale University. Four and a half short years ago, Robert DeShaun Peace was shot twice during a drug altercation in his basement. Hobbs pointed out his own feelings of guilt for Peace’s death due to his failure to be more aware of Rob’s life. He stated that he wished he would have focused more on Rob and his life, rather than track, English, girls, etc. Although, at the time, Rob’s stories, hobbies, and parts of his life made Hobbs feel uncomfortable, he now realizes that everyone has to go through feelings of discomfort at some point in their lives. Jeff Hobbs stated that he wished he would have taken advantage of the times that Rob did attempt to talk to him about life, mostly because of how well Rob hid his emotions due to his childhood atmosphere. After all, Rob’s most common phrase was, “I’m all good”. When Rob did choose to speak about his life, however, he talked about his father very seldom and always gave evasive answers if he had to answer on him. While Rob chose not to speak about his father, Skeet, Hobbs believes that it is possible that Skeet, even though he was in prison for the majority of Rob’s life, may have been the most influential person in his life.

Rob was not the typical Yale student based on his background, but he proved himself otherwise in the classroom. Robert Peace was a straight A student in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, and he was able to make friends everywhere he went. Hobbs recalled that everywhere he went, Robert was surrounded by people who loved him and considered him their best friend. For the most part, they all said that “Rob was the man”, and because of this, Rob’s death was extremely sad, but also very memorable and many people were able to delight in the high points and great things that Rob did while he was alive. Hobbs stated that Peace’s funeral was almost joyous and/or enlightening, not because he was gone, but because of the memories that he left for each individual to share. He said that it was remarkable how many people came to his funeral and how one person could share a story about Rob, then simply send you to the next person to hear another one. They considered him “Society’s Success Story”, one with a struggling childhood who was destined to make a name for himself in everything he did. Hobbs stated that although Rob’s childhood was not ideal or even comparable to his own, he did not use those hardships as an excuse for any of his decisions. I think that was perhaps the strongest point that Hobbs made during his visit. He spoke very strongly about Rob’s ambition, his hard work, and his heavy heart for his friends and family.

During his speech, it was very obvious that Hobbs was still slightly troubled by the whole situation and how everything played out. However, I felt as though he did a fantastic job with keeping Rob’s name in positive light rather than pointing out all of the things that he did wrong throughout college and more importantly, life.

Online College: A way in? Or a way out?

The New York Times editorial, “The Trouble with Online College,” emphasizes that “Courses delivered solely online may be fine for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but they are inappropriate for struggling students….” Online schooling can be useful in some cases, but in others, detrimental to individuals who need more instructional support. Although some students may be able to time-manage and problem-solve without a professor in front of them, the majority of students “need engagement with their teachers to feel comfortable and to succeed,” (“The Trouble”). Online courses pose problems for both teachers and students in areas of technology, for teachers in course management, and for students in course performance.

First of all, technology exhibits a challenge for both teachers and students. From a teaching standpoint, training is not always adequately provided for teachers and professors to teach students the subject matter online efficiently. Training is a necessary aspect of online courses which should not be taken lightly. While online learning is steadily increasing, other online applications are as well, and students in online courses are expected to be up to date on the newest Web 2.0 tools such as Prezi (Motion Presentation), Glogster (Multimedia Poster Presentation), and Animoto (Video Slideshow Presentation). Teachers are attempting to use these tools in order to bring excitement and engagement to the online classroom, but when their students do not know much at all about these programs, course learning becomes more about how to use these new “gadgets” rather than about learning the course material.

Misconceptions by teachers that all students are current in their knowledge of trending tools is not the only problem with online education, though. Some online teachers assume that online learning is very similar to a traditional classroom; however, they also expect that it will be easier on themselves, because they do not have the same heavy oversight by administration that they would have in a seated class. Because of this expectation of simplicity, these teachers often fail to understand why students have such a difficult time with these courses. When online instructors provide students with a syllabus and a quick “checklist” online, they expect the student to put his/her own effort forward and problem-solve. However, a quick checklist creates an environment in which the teacher is required to grade assignments, and that is all. Sometimes, even that is a stretch for an online teacher, though. For example, in my online Honors English IV class, I had a teacher who rarely read over my assignments or even responded to my questions. Once, I asked my teacher to clarify an assignment five days before the due date, but she did not respond to my email or texts until the night before at around nine o’clock. During the time that I was waiting for her to respond, I was constantly seeking help from former English teachers and my two librarians, but since this was not their class or their assignments, they even had trouble clarifying her instructions for me. Although I was trying to problem-solve and get my work done early, my teacher lived in Raleigh, NC, three hours away from my high school, so she could not provide me with the personal assistance that I needed. Consequently, since I was not challenged by my teacher, I slacked off, although I knew it was my weakest subject, and did as little as possible to maintain an A. From a student’s point of view, I was not willing to put time into a class that my teacher was not willing to put in as well, especially if I were not going to receive necessary feedback, even on large assignments such as a research paper.

A third problem that may arise with online learning could be that students are not aware of how they learn the best. Students who enroll in online courses are often given a perception of the course prior to their enrollment action, even though they often do not realize their true learning styles until after the completion of the class. Many college students, such as I, took online courses that interested them during high school but that were not offered in the traditional classroom. In some cases, these courses were taken as an “easy A” or as a way to get out of the work that a traditional teacher might assign. Once engaged in my online classes, I soon realized that I did not manage my time well, and I tended to put my online course on the back burner so that I could complete assignments for teachers who were going to be strict graders and enforce classroom policy. Because I was not truly involved with the majority of these classes, I crippled myself from a learning standpoint by not having to push myself to obtain the grade that I wanted. I quickly learned that I am more of a kinesthetic learner and that I prefer to have a teacher in front of me so that I might receive prompt feedback on questions and concerns.

Even though I have had some bad experiences with online courses, I have also had some good experiences as well, and while I would prefer not to complete another English or “core” class online, I firmly believe that subjects such as “Medical Terminology,” which I am currently enrolled in, can be taught efficiently online without a professor in a traditional classroom. Further, although online courses present several issues at the moment, education is changing and online learning is becoming the new way of life due to cost and time effectiveness. Online learning may inhibit a vast majority of students from reaching their full potentials; however, this form of education may prove well for those students who are highly motivated and effective time managers.

Online schooling poses problems for all involved in technology, for teachers in course management, and for students in course performance. However, with an ever-changing world and with technology on the rise, online learning is becoming more widely used in our fast-paced world, and we will be required to adapt. With this adaptation, we will have the opportunity to expand our educational opportunities and our learning experiences. 

Works Cited

“The Trouble with Online College.” Editorial. The New York Times. The New York Times, 18      Feb. 2013. Web. 20 Sept. 2015.

VWS Jaki Shelton Green


On Thursday, September 10, 2015, I attended Jaki Shelton Green’s presentation in Belk Centrum for the Visiting Writers Series. During this presentation, Jaki recited several of her pieces and spoke on numerous aspects of her background and family history.

As a child, Mrs. Green had no desire to be an author. Instead, she wanted to be an oceanographer, until the point when her father convinced her to reevaluate her future endeavors since she had never even seen the ocean. After explaining a key point in her presentation, “I didn’t choose the writing, the writing chose me,” Jaki Shelton Green spoke to us about her childhood background and led into her discussion on her poem, “i know the grandmother one had hands.” In addition to her grandmother’s grandmother’s story which influenced her writing of this poem, Mrs. Green worked with women on death row for a year. While teaching them how to write poetry, she provided them with one rule…they could only write about hands, because ultimately, their hands were what placed them on death row to begin with. Then, Jaki went on to tell us about her grandmother’s grandmother’s life. We were provided in depth insight into her life as a slave and how she was beaten for knowing how to read and write as a child. Once the white mother found out that she knew how to do these things, she banished her from their home and sold her. When she was being taken off in the wagon, a nail fell out onto the ground and the child’s real mother picked it up and the family has passed it down each generation so that Jaki currently has the nail. Providing us with information about the nail helped transform Mrs. Green’s discussion into her final piece about her daughter. Jaki Shelton Green was unable to pass the nail onto her daughter, because she lost a battle to breast cancer at the very early age of thirty-eight. The poem that Mrs. Green finished with was one that she wrote in remembrance of her daughter.

After attending Mrs. Green’s poetic presentation, I feel like I have a much greater understanding about several of her poems, especially “i know the grandmother one had hands,” which I was able to ask her multiple questions about while she signed books in the lobby.