St. Ignatius College Preparatory

San Francisco’s Jesuit School since 1855

Health & Wellness Survey

Sampling of early responses

Coaches, below you will find a sample of early responses to our Health Survey. As you can tell, some coaches spend a great deal of energy on their athletes’ health. I am always amazed and honored to be working with such conscientious professionals who genuinely care about their athletes. I hope these responses help you shape your thoughts on your own responses to the survey. TC

We cover the things they need to eat in order to stay healthy, fruits other things etc. The other issues that we cover is that with the aerobic activity that they are doing they could eat McDonalds each day and still look in shape, but that doesn’t mean it is good for them to eat. Also a focus is making sure they are eating a lot and the right things because they need to make sure that they intake good calories at the same level or more compared to what they are burning.

This year I am going to have a presentation to the parents by a friend of mine who is a nutritionist and possibly another person speaking on supplements and how they affect diet and athletes.

What health topics does the St. Ignatius Athletic Department cover (actual & intended)?

I think other than what people shouldn’t take, steroids etc, there aren’t really other health issue covered such as dietary issues.

Nutrition: Balanced diets, eating energy packed foods throughout the day, snacks after exercise, water throughout the day, eating breakfast, etc. Knowing that when in season food/water are key to progress. That more calories will be burned and to balance that with everything going on (school, family, friends, etc.)

Physical: Strength development. With weights, boot camp style workouts, core work, etc.. Making clear getting stronger does not mean getting bigger.

Flexibility: Not enough time to devote to stretching but they have been good about asking what to do. Have sent out literature on standard stretches. Several attend yoga classes when in season.

Mental: Without a clear mind, the athlete will never reach their potential. Before they can focus one eating and working out, they need to gain self-confidence in believe they can do it.

•What kind of pedagogy do you use? (lecture, discussion, group work, hadouts, films, internet based resource material?)

Weekly lectures (called "Pow-Pows") that highlight a topic that showed iteslf either in a meet, swim anr/or practice.

I use as much info as I can get my hands on. I routinely send out emails, pass out handouts, send links..really anything. I feel the better educated the athlete is the better performance they will receive.

•Do you review and/or update your health related information? (course work, certifications, research)

Totally. Changes every year and also varies with each athlete. One team policy will not fit all, so need to have a sound foundation with ability to tweak to special needs.

•What is the general feeling of your athletes about the level of relevance, engagement, openness, etc. around these health related topics? (How do you evaluate your health program? Surveys? Follow-up questionnaires?)

I evalute based upon the discussions I have with them. There is no topic not on the table. Its more than coaching the sport but developing the individual.

Primarily we discuss eating properly (balance of food types, avoiding fatty/ fried food, etc.), and avoiding skin cancer exposure. Other than that, all of our health education is sport specific (stretching for running, strength and conditioning drills, knowing the structure and sequence of their running training, etc.)

Before the match

Check the condition of racquets, strings, shoes, grips, and other accessories. Pack a water container.

Eat complex carbos – cereals, whole wheat breads, pasta, fruit, and fresh veggies two to three hours before match.

Warm up body/stretch off court.

Warm up 15-30 minutes before match.

Drink sufficient fluids 30 minutes before match.

Analyze your opponent’s strength and weaknesses during warm-ups.

During match

Focus on each point and remain present – for example, forget about the double fault you just made, or bad backhand.

Stay hydrated to give you energy; drink fluids during changeover.

After match

Cool down, stretch and analyze your game. How you can improve on your next match

Eat nutritious foods within two hours to replace necessary fluids.

Well this year I brought in my trainer to help out with certain exercises/drills to make sure that the girls were doing it properly. In addition, he has given me tips on nutrition for the girls. What to eat before the night of a match, what to eat the day of, and so forth. I have also given my girls the attached handout.

The kind of pedagogy I use comes from being a certified USPTA instructor plus newsletters that I receive from USTA High Performance which discusses training and nutrition for juniors.


         Game day food

         Food the night before

         Appropriate school lunches

         Conversations with lightweight rowers about proper diet and calorie intake appropriate for health and weight loss.



         Transportation vs. Utilization workouts

         Heart Rate zones and

         Using rest heart rate to monitor your fitness and fatigue        


         What to wear to practice

         What to wear to regattas

         The tradeoffs of sandals, support v. fashion


         How to take care of their hands (blisters, torn skin)

•What kind of pedagogy do you use? (lecture, discussion, group work, handouts, films, internet based resource material?)

Pedagogy (I assume you mean for the Health Related topics)

         Primarily Lecture and Discussion

         Occasional Guest Speaker

•Do you review and/or update your health related information? (course work, certifications, research)

Update? No. I just pass on what I know and guide them in a direction. I don’t teach health, nor do I think that should be a major part of our practice time.

•What is the general feeling of your athletes about the level of relevance, engagement, openness, etc. around these health related topics? (How do you evaluate your health program? Surveys? Follow-up questionnaires?)

I don’t evaluate my health program. For the most part, the athletes listen and pass on the information. They hold each other accountable for footwear and nutrition.

They are open to information, as long as it is described in a way that will make them realize the short term benefits of the change. They also have no problem sharing their personal experience with these topics.



Several topics seem to be at the top of the list throughout the year. Pre-Season topics revolve around base training and setting up a proper aerobic base to build on when the season rolls around. We stress that to develop a successful experience in sport the athlete needs to develop a plan, follow through with the specifics of the plan, eat the proper foods to fuel the body during training and how proper rest is essential to making the preceding steps successful. Any short cut to the overall plan, including rest, will doom the plan. I recently began to encourage the oarsmen to purchase and use heart rate monitors. We are going to try and place more emphasis on heart rate zones and maximum heart rate for the athlete. The athlete would learn to appreciate maximum performance and how to attain it through monitoring his heart rate. Conversely, we recently talked about a formula that would aid in learning when an athlete needed a less intense workout or when he should take a day of rest.

HYDRATION.   Crew is basically an endurance sport, aerobic through the majority of the race and then anaerobic for the last stage. Routinely, the first and second boats in the program log 40-50 miles per week of rowing during the spring season. The volume, intensity and duration vary depending on the time of the season. The first 4-6 weeks is high volume, long duration, and low intensity. Weeks 7-12 are a mixture of volume, duration and heightened intensity. The final stage, weeks 13-18, the volume is cut back along with the duration of the workouts but the intensity is at its highest preparing for regional championships. We constantly stress the need for hydration. One several occasions I purchased water bottles for the oarsmen so they would remain hydrated. We suggest the oarsmen consume approximately 32 ounces the first hour on the water and 4-6 ounce per 15 minutes thereafter. We strong encourage sport drinks because of the added value in replacing electrolytes, potassium etc. I also am a strong fan of ‘GU’ –energy gel. It is a valuable source of replacement carbohydrates. I have found through long distance cycling and long distance running that after 45 minutes or an hour the 32gram serving acts to refuel the depleted athlete. The boys, who use it, use only one packet and only after an hour of high volume, high intensity rowing has been completed, knowing that an additional 45-60 minutes of training is left in the workout.

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT/EATING DISORDERS/BODY IMAGE.   The boats that the boy’s row are 62 feet in length and weight 190-205 lbs. The boats carry 8 oarsmen and one coxswain. To maximize the efficiency of the boat design the term ‘power to weight ratio’ is often discussed. I am fully aware of the issue of eating disorders in high school among women and men. We primarily focus on preaching the benefits of various foods and eating those foods that will fuel and replenish the athlete. The boys work extremely hard and most of the oarsmen want to enjoy the success that is possible paying attention to eating healthy. The less fat the athlete carries the faster the boat will go. One pound of useless weight computes to one tenth of a second in boat speed. If one boat beats another by a boat length that computes to 4 seconds (40 lbs) Boat races are frequently won by 2-3 tenths of a second or less.

PEDAGOGY USED. Training and instruction relies heavily on mass produced tapes, individual video sessions on the water, rowing and sports related books and periodicals, current topics in the news that relate to our sport and our training /recovery methods. I question my athletes to learn if they are up to speed on the above resources and information. I have a library of books, magazine articles, video tapes that date back 20 years that targets rowing, running, weight training issues and techniques, nutrition and hydration. I am constantly adding to this resource, reviewing and re-educating myself on current issues and methods. As I learn new methods and topic opinions, I relay them to the athlete for them to use as a resource.

REVIEW/UPDATE HEALTH INFORMATION. As I stated above I constantly look for videos, books, magazine and newspaper articles that update me with current information and sport related trends. I then can pass this information on to the athlete so he can use it as a resource in his sport and throughout his life. I try to encourage my oarsmen to become an athlete for their entire life. They should not think that after high school or college sports has come to an end that their athletic lives have ended. They should look to the enjoyment of sport and its benefits throughout their adult lives. Acquiring information on sports and the benefits of sports throughout ones life is instructional, enjoyable, and critical to a healthy life.

OPENNESS/ENGAGEMENT/RELEVANCE AROUND HEALTH TOPICS. The athletes seem to be very open and interactive regarding discussions on nutrition, drug and alcohol. The athletes with weight issues are a little less likely to bring up or discuss the topic and I understand that. I will speak to the athlete away from the group and not make it a big issue. I try and frame the topic around the health consequences but mainly on how if the athlete pays proper attention to his eating habits his performance and success in crew will skyrocket. I also remind the guys that they are not ‘bulletproof’ and need to think past tomorrow with their lives and athletic careers. I try to be interactive will the oarsmen throughout the season on the issues we discuss and verbally ask for their feedback. I feel that a good measuring stick for the above discussed issues and topics is reflected in the happiness and success the oarsmen carry away from the season, and the degree of openness they have with me around the boathouse and on the water.

Healthy eating habits for active young women, hydration, fitness (correct technique, duration, intensity), injury rehab.

Nutrition: lecture; we try to de-bunk as many health myths as we can in our season.

We cover nutrition (high calorie intake, balanced meals, fruit/veggies), eating before and after races, and body image.

I have used nutrition handouts, one-on-one talks, all-team meetings; we also have potluck dinners. The team finds any health topics extremely relevant, although can be a tough issue for some individuals.

Health related topics…

           Sleep/Recovery—icing, ice baths, stretching, regular sleep pattern

           Hydration—before, during, after matches and tournaments

          Meals—specific: nothing fried or carbonated preferably during the season, but especially on game days/tournament days; general—useful calories vs. wasted calories



I’m not too sure that every player buys into these ideas. I think they think they can just show up and play and that these other things don’t make that much of a difference. However, they do see results from their time spent working with you. They’ve mentioned to me several times that they feel that if a match goes 5 games, they can take anyone due to their fitness. I agree.

powered by finalsite