High-school wrestling coaches' knowledge and practices regarding weight management
Kostal, Sheila A.
MetadataShow full item record
The purpose of this study was to assess high-school wrestling coaches' knowledge about nutrition and the weight loss practices they recommend to their athletes. A questionnaire was mailed to all high-school wrestling coaches in the state of Illinois. Of the 342 surveys sent, 180 were returned (a 52.6% response rate). A chi-square analysis was used to determine if the coaches’ nutrition knowledge coincided with their weight management practices. Descriptive statistics were also used to show the responses for each question in the questionnaire. Coaches ranged in age from under 25 years of age to over 50 years of age, with the majority (81.8%) being between the ages of 26 and 49. Fortyfour percent of the coaches had 16 or more years of experience coaching high-school wrestling. Eighty percent reported that athletic coaches should sometimes suggest athletes lose weight to qualify for a weight class below their pre-season weight. The majority of the coaches (88.4%) indicated the best method for weight loss was to consume fewer calories in a well-balanced diet, with 61% stating the recommended range for weight loss was 1 -2 pounds per week. Seventy-two percent of the coaches believed that fasting is never an acceptable way to lose weight. However, 25% believed wrestlers should restrict food intake the day of competition. Fifty-six percent believed dehydration was an acceptable way to lose weight some of the time. Sixty-two percent encouraged their athletes to drink during competition to replenish water losses. One concern in the study was that 61.9% of the coaches agreed that severe caloric restriction was an appropriate weight loss mechanism. The results of the study showed that nutrition knowledge was significantly associated with nutrition practices. There was some disparity between the coaches' responses. The majority of the coaches had a good knowledge base of nutrition and practiced according to that knowledge; however, a few coaches had a limited knowledge base and recommended detrimental practices. There should be more nutrition education for coaches so they can educate their athletes with proper information regarding nutrition.