Over the years I have worked with a range of men’s elite sporting teams from the:
Working in these teams can certainly be unique environments. They don’t seem to follow the same etiquette as more traditional work places! Greetings as I walk in yelled out from the room next door such as, ‘Here is the TV star’, after I had a few seconds of exposure on ABC news on such an important topic like, the nutritional benefits of camel milk, compared to player’s air time, really! They just love to have a dig, or as I am leaving at 3pm to do the school pick up run, ‘are you going out somewhere special Simone?’ Simply because I was wearing jeans and not what they called my usual ‘summer dresses’ it was winter guys, can’t I dress casual occasionally! Hilarious and all quite harmless, just a little more direct than most work places. You need to have a good sense of humour and enjoy a bit of banter. In saying that I find they don’t cross the line, just push it to the edge a little sometimes.
When heading home, I seem to have more energy leaving than when I arrived! In winter when I’ve had a head cold, feeling a bit below par, I come home feeling a whole lot better, is that the adrenalin of the surroundings, who knows but I find it a real bonus of the job!
Teams at any level, I find are upbeat, vibrant, enthusiastic places to be around, with people who are driven, at most times. A few losses can turn the tide, but it usually gets back on track pretty quickly.
The team I work with at Hawthorn are a smart bunch of people. Switched on and striving to get the best out of themselves and those around them. They respect that I am the nutrition expert. This hasn’t always been the case at all teams I have worked with and sometimes other people creep or bound into the nutrition domain. How to get them back over to their expertise area can sometimes be tricky, after all everyone eats so everyone knows don’t they? I found if I am upfront early in a non-confrontational manner, give my opinion with supporting research and real life experiences we can get back to me delivering the nutrition messages. I emphasise the importance of one clear, concise message. Listen to what they have to say and then ignore it, no not at all, their story may have merit and something I can learn from. Often it alerts me to what I then need to have my next education strategy around to clear up misinformation.
As my roles have always been part time I rely on others to reinforce nutrition messages. I am known to leave sticky notes with instructions for my boss at the Hawks asking him to write something up on his white board, remind players of a message before travelling somewhere, checking food out when we are travelling and giving me feedback or putting an information flyer up for me at the suitable time. It definitely is a team approach.
I like to focus on getting the basics done well and I am not known for measuring, weighing or calculating much. The players though can shop pretty well, cook a few dishes and generally make good choices when choosing from a menu and follow my supplement advice.
So far it seems to be working, a few premierships and World Cup wins under my belt and of course we have to give nutrition credit for that, don’t we!
Simone likes to share her expert nutrition advice. Read more