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Eating Disorders And The Athlete

We hear about the prevalence of eating disorders in the fashion industry and Hollywood. What is less well known is its prevalence in professional sports. Athletes operate under enormous pressure to fit a physical ideal and to constantly perform at their best. Because of this, professional athletes are three times more likely to develop an eating disorder than the average person (Bowers, n.d.).

The two most common eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia. People afflicted with anorexia restrict their intake of food in an effort to meet their ideal weight. Many do this to the point of starvation. In bulimia, the afflicted person goes through a cycle of bingeing and purging. The person will binge on a large amount of food in a short period of time, then eradicate what they’ve eaten through self-induced vomiting or other means. This cycle is usually followed by feelings of guilt, shame and remorse.

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Coaches’ Corner: Practice What You Preach

Athletes are in the spotlight. If something isn’t working on the field, the ice, the court, or in the boat, it has to do with the athlete, right? It is easy to look at what is in front of you and believe that is where the course correction is needed. Often, the “invisible players” have a much larger role than is considered. These can include: the team dynamic, the environment of the organization, politics within the athletic department, and coaches. These are often last to be looked at, if at all. Truth be told, they can have a much greater impact on performance results than one individual athlete alone.

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Top Nutrition Strategies For Fall Sports

The weather may be cooling down, but fall sports are heating up! Maintain peak performance all season with our sport dietitian’s top nutrition strategies.

  1. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. You’re probably wondering why sleep is making an appearance in a nutrition-related post? Sleep is vital to muscle repair, recovery, and the regulation of hunger and fullness cues and stress hormones. Ever feel that your hunger is insatiable, experience strong carbohydrate cravings, or see a lack in results? Cumulative lack of sleep may be the culprit!
  2. Hydrate: Gone are the days of “aim for 8 cups of water per day.” Hydration needs are not “one-size-fits-all.” What we should really aim for as a baseline is drinking half of our body weight in ounces. For example, a person weighing 165 lbs. should roughly consume 82.5 oz. (or 10.5 cups) of water per day. Hydration needs can increase above that based on physical activity level, temperature, sweat rate, etc. If you don’t have an estimate of your weight, don’t sweat it! Monitor your hydration status by observing the color of your urine during the day. Click here for an example.
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Coaches’ Corner: Three Summer Tips for Collegiate Coaches

No matter the season of your sport, coaching never stops. It is a yearlong process of recruiting new talent, providing guidance and instruction for athletes during the off season, and formulating your goals for the coming competitive year. Coaching is multifaceted, covering various administrative duties and interpersonal roles.

Here are three initial tips to help set you and your players up for success and support all around!

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14th International Society of Sport Psychology – Presentation by Dr. Chirban

Sharon presented at the 14th International Society of Sport Psychology on a panel “Lessons learnt as practitioners in sport and exercise psychology: A case study approach.” Her case documented the beginning of a Boston Ballet Company dancer’s transition after dancing with the corps (the group of dancers who are not soloists) for ten years through her complete termination. Her transition began post Achilles tendon surgery, due to a Haglund’s deformity. She danced through her rehabilitation of her ankle for three years post-surgery, modifying role selection, intensity of her seasons and number of performances to manage the chronic pain that ensued post-surgery.

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Sexualized Athletes

At the bi-annual Female Athlete Conference, Dr. Chirban gave a talk highlighting the issues related to the sexualization of girls and the implications of sexualization and self-objectification on both male and female athletes.

According the APA Task Force report (2007), sexualization occurs when a person’s value comes only from his or her sexual appeal or behavior; when a person is held to a standard that equates physical attractiveness with being sexy and when a person is sexually objectified — that is, made into a thing for the others’ sexual use.

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Monthly Fencing Workshops

Michael Berrebi at Amplifying Performance has been conducting monthly workshops with the Marx Fencing Academy, which offers elite fencing programs in Concord, Mass.

During these workshops, fencers have had the unique opportunity to explore core sport psychology skills and strategies aimed at helping to increase enjoyment and overall performance.

Topics to date have included: how to properly and positively self-assess one’s performance, understanding and improving the power of self-talk, and utilizing effective imagery.

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