USA TODAY High School Sports asked some of the top female college athletes from different sports to give their advice to high school girls on a variety of pressures they will face in the coming years. This is the eigth of a nine-part series in conjunction with USA TODAY High School Sports’ Girls Sports Month.
Wednesday, May 7: Recruiting
Thursday, May 8: Parties/social scene
Tuesday, May 14: Homesickness
Thursday, May 16: Relationships/dating
Tuesday, May 21: Classes/homework
Thursday, May 23: The off-season
Tuesday, May 28: Social media
Wednesday, May 29: Lifestyle/nutrition
Thursday, May 30: Most important advice
Advice on lifestyle and nutrition …
Caitlin Leverenz, senior, California, swimming
“In an ideal world I would be able to sleep 10-plus hours every night, but there just isn’t enough time in my day for that. I just try my best to get to bed as early as I can. Some nights that means 8 p.m., while others it means 10 or 11 p.m. I think sleep is very important in determining your quality of life.
“I try to eat frequent, small, healthy meals. I recently have gotten into making green smoothies, and I love it. It fills me up on fresh vegetables and fruits.
“I would recommend not eating super late at night; usually the foods offered late at night are fried or not good for you, and your body has a much slower metabolism in the middle of the night. You can never eat enough fruits and vegetables.”
Katie Reinprecht, senior, Princeton, field hockey
“It’s a lot easier during the season (to get more rest). You know that you have to perform and just from practicing so hard every day, you are naturally more tired. If you are staying on top of (your schoolwork) then it shouldn’t be keeping you up – you shouldn’t need to pull all-nighters.
“The hardest part (of keeping a balance diet) is being exposed to a dining hall where there is unlimited food. Luckily you are going to be working out every day, and you do need a good amount of food.
“A lot of universities have nutritionists that will tell you how much and what you should be eating to perform at a high level. I don’t think that you need to cut anything out of your diet – you just need to eat everything in moderation.”
Christine Nairn , Penn State , soccer
“The big thing for us is that our coaches want us to eat, eat, eat – all the time. We’re burning so many calories in a day that you always have to have a snack – you have to plan ahead. Whether it is waking up 10 minutes earlier to go get something to eat, you do it. Or eating something before you go to bed, you do it.
“We have one of the best nutritionists in the country – obviously I am biased. But, she goes with us into the dining hall and says, eat this, not that. She gives us good recipes, for off campus. Good, high-calorie cereals that aren’t sugar-filled. It’s very easy. All these schools, especially big schools, have helpful people where that is their job – to make things for their student-athletes easier.”