Coaches’ guide: How to spot athletes with eating disorders

March is National Nutrition Month. It’s a month for stepping back and contemplating how we eat, what we eat, and our overall health in general. According to the official website, “[the Nutrition Month] campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.”

Coaches know proper nutrition is of utmost importance to both themselves and their athletes. But the dark side of nutrition isn’t only in the excess fats, sugars, and alcohol that we (try to) stay away from. Some of the greatest nutritional dangers are those not talked about; the psychological and mental problems associated with food.

As you go about your time as a coach, one thing you should be very aware of and constantly on the lookout for is:

Eating disorders

While athletes in certain sports such as figure skating, gymnastics, swimming, or ballet are at a far greater predisposition to developing eating disorders,...

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Jim Clem: Character traits & 6 pieces of advice for winning pitchers

We’ve talked about understanding yourself as a pitcher. We’ve talked about the things that can hold you back from achieving peak performance as a pitcher.

Now, we’re going to talk about character. Specifically, the character traits of winning pitchers, and six rules to follow to excel both on and off the mound.

Character traits of successful pitchers

In truth, if you were listening closely, our past articles featuring pitching coach Jim Clem already mentioned the winning character traits. (Surprise!) Admittedly, they’re not very specifically pointed out during the interview and were woven into the fiber of the entire conversation, so might have been tough to pick out.

Don't worry: we'll give you a hand by pulling a quote from directly from the interview:

…the personality characteristics of successful pitchers I think are determined to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually balanced, and have a really great competitive nature...
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Ursula Grobler: Winning for the love of the game

Ursula Grobler has a strong love of the game. In hearing her speak, it's easy to see she has a true passion for her sport and there's no doubt that that passion is a strong driving force behind her success.

Last week, I reintroduced Ursula Grobler, 2010 Erg World Record holder, and gave you a peek into an interview I conducted with her about how mental training impacted her outstanding erging performance. (If you missed that article, click here.)

I wanted to continue that thread by sharing a few more portions of that same interview with you.

Ursula Grobler's 2010 Ergomania World Record

A member of Ursula's crew stood by and video recorded Ursula as she pushed herself through Ergomania in 2010 and surpassed the previous record by a full two seconds, a seeming eternity in the sporting world.

Watch the video (Ursula is the one in the white shirt, fourth from the front, with the colorful socks :) ) and take special notice of how relaxed she is even though...

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What's your athletes' THING? - The fart smeller and other NFL stories

I once heard from an NFL coach that each player in the NFL has their "thing" they rely on.

‘Honestly, Lindsey,’ one of them confided, ‘you could come into our facility and I could tell everyone that you were my professional fart sniffer; you smell my farts to make sure my hydration and nutrition are good. I’m telling you, no one would blink an eye. They’d probably try to hire you.’

Obviously, this is an extreme example, but it holds true: the best players go into competition feeling – and believing – that they bring something special to the table. This is true for the role players as much at the stars, true for team sports as well as individual competition.

The best competitors have an IDENTITY and they prepare in accordance to that identity.

Imagine a team made of athletes who each believe they have something valuable, unique, and powerful within themselves to offer. Each player would position themselves mentally to adhere to that...

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Jim Clem: Character traits & 6 pieces of advice for winning pitchers (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Jim Clem: Character Traits & 6 Pieces of Advice for Winning Pitchers, published February 26, 2015.

6 Pieces of Advice for Winning Pitchers: #1-3. Warm Up, Practice, & Write it Down!

6 Pieces of Advice for Winning Pitchers: #4. Positive Thinking

6 Pieces of Advice for Winning Pitchers: #5. Routine = breathing + visualizing

6 Pieces of Advice for Winning Pitchers: #6. Beware Your Choice in Music

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training

 

Lindsey: So talk me through, yeah, and maybe give an example of an athlete that you worked with. If I was coming to you again and I was a pitcher and I was very talented, but really didn't know what I was doing, you know, maybe hadn't been coached, what are the routines that we would put in together, pre-game, during game, post-game. You know, what are the things that you teach most athletes, at least, most pitchers?

Jim: Okay. So we'll do an...

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Jim Clem: Top 3 Pitcher Hang-Ups (Transcribed)

Originally posted in article Jim Clem's Pitching Tips: Top 3 Pitcher Hang-Ups, published February 23, 2015.

Pitching Coach Jim Clem on his Top 3 Pitcher Hang-Ups

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training

Lindsey: Well, speaking of learning I know I am and many of our clients are really interested in diving into pitching in particular. So if you would, take us into the mind state of a typical pitcher. What are their hang-ups, what things do they struggle with? And maybe even what personality characteristics do you typically see in a pitcher? I know it's really hard to classify every one.

Jim: Typically, I'd say just pitchers of all ages, they just need more work and preparation. And I don't think they totally understand necessarily what that entails, so I'll talk to them, I'll have, you know, I have different talks that I have with them each day. But I want to make sure that they understand that there's really four...

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Jim Clem on understanding yourself as a pitcher (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Jim Clem on Understanding Yourself as a Pitcher, published November 24, 2014.

Pitching Coach Jim Clem on Understanding Yourself

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training

Lindsey Wilson: Well, speaking of learning I know I am and many of our clients are really interested in diving into pitching in particular. So if you would, take us into the mind state of a typical pitcher. What are their hang-ups, what things do they struggle with? And maybe even what personality characteristics do you typically see in a pitcher? I know it's really hard to classify everyone.

Jim Clem: Typically, I'd say just pitchers of all ages, they just need more work and preparation. And I don't think they totally understand necessarily what that entails, so I'll talk to them, I'll have, you know, I have different talks that I have with them each day. But I want to make sure that they understand that there's really four parts to...

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Jim Clem on his coaching philosophy (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Pitching Tips Intro: 4 Parts to Understanding Yourself as a Pitcher, published November 24, 2014.

Pitching Coach Jim Clem on his Coaching Philosophy

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training 

Lindsey Wilson: Now coach, I know you have a psychology background and a sports administration background and you've coached, like you said, all these different levels. Tell us if this has happened, has your coaching philosophy evolved over the years and where is it right now?

Jim Clem: Uh, no doubt, you know, it has evolved. I'm, you know, I think it's, you know, I was a psychology history, education major through college and I started those three majors and then I got a master's degree in sports administration, which involved a lot of my training was a lot of evaluation and training of other coaches and athletes and something that I was passionate about and wanted to learn more about. And so I think...

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Ursula Grobler: Winning for the love of the game (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Ursula Grobler: Winning for the Love of the Game, published January 19, 2015.

Erg World Record Holder Ursula Grobler on the Importance of Loving the Game

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training

Lindsey Wilson: All right, final real big challenge in rowing and what you’ve used and advice you would give. The voices in your head and the focus.

Ursula: You’ve got to be in it for the long run, first of all, in rowing, in particular. You’ve got to be in it for the long run is my, and you’ve got to love it, and finding the joy is going to make all of these other things possible. The focus, all the things we spoke about – the mental work, the training – you’ve just got to find the joy in it. Because, also, I believe happy rowers are fast rowers. So, I really think that’s my take-home message. It’s something that I’m working on a lot. I’m not...

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Ursula Grobler: 2010 Erg World Record buzz (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Ursula Grobler: Winning for the Love of the Game, published January 19, 2015.

Erg World Record Holder Ursula Grobler still Buzzes from her 2010 World Record Achievement

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training

Lindsey: Yeah, that’s great. Okay, and then, finally, what I want to talk about and we’re going to post this video of two of you winning the world record in the Erg, you and I have talked about this before, but talk me through that event, and that competition, and leading up to it in particular. What was that experience like (competing in the Ergomania), if you could walk us through it?

Ursula: It was a very special experience and a lot of things kind of were just primed right. So, at the time, the record felt easy, if I can say it that way. But, looking back, I know that a lot of things were just done right to achieve that. I’d been working with Carlos Dinares at the time...

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