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A Woman's View
Sports nutrition a vital link for team
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It’s a privilege to be able to attend any college football game and stand on the sidelines!

Fred and I attended the K-State-Louisiana Tech game last Saturday, and my "Woman’s View" senses were in high gear.

Here’s where my female brain resides…

I studied the cheerleader dance routines. I zeroed in on the band, and noticed the purple plumes on the band members’ hats, (the tuba players don’t wear hats because their instruments are wound around their heads).

I try not to trip as I prance to stay out of the way of the Fox news cameramen. These guys are dragging electrical cords all over the place. I stare incredulously at the camera lenses the newspaper guys use.(8 to 12 inches across?), and then I side glance at the football team as they grimace and prance with tension on the sidelines.

It’s a visual feast.

In the meantime, Fred is glancing at the time clock, waiting for the game to begin.

Doesn’t he know MY game has begun?

During the preliminaries we spied Kylie Hanson approaching. Kylie is the daughter of Lynn and Tama Hanson of rural Larned.

She stands on the sidelines at every home game, attending to her duties. She always makes it a point to greet us. You see, we have become the "Ma and Pa Kettle" of the sidelines! (look that one up!)

Maybe she could spare a few minutes for some questions? Yes! So, amid the roar of the crowd, and the band’s Wabash Cannonball, I hollered some at her.

"What is your position here, Kylie? What do you do? Is this a job?"

I learned that it is a job and that Kylie is officially titled as "graduate assistant in sports nutrition".

"That means we are responsible for sports nutrition for all the sports venues on the K-State campus."

"You mean, even the rowing team?"

At this point, my little pea brain could envision broccoli, carrot sticks, and water. I needed to know more.

It sounded like a GINORMOUS job to me. And I could readily perceive that Kylie was every bit up to the challenge.

"What does that entail?" I asked.

Kylie explained that a sports nutritionist’s assignment is to provide total nutrition, whether its hydration, snacks, meals, or supplements if needed (and approved by the NCAA) for the sports teams. Her job duties during the game are to arrange pre-game, mid-game, and post-game snacks and drinks.

I asked, " Are you ever concerned that when you arrive here on Saturday that someone will have forgotten something and the food won’t be ready?"

"No. Not really. We have the system in place at this point and everyone has done it so often that it’s pretty much a routine that we have."

"So does the team eat dinner here after the game?" I asked.

It looked to me like the guys would be famished after all the running and falling and leaping and kicking…..

She replied that at home games, they don’t provide the after-game meal since the players usually have places to go, meeting their families, and so on.

"I don’t travel with the team, but we do arrange meals in advance for on the road as well as arranging meals for out-of-town teams when necessary."

"We also maintain nutrition stations on campus during the week. There are seven sites on campus providing athletes with (nutritional) snacks. We call them "fueling stations."

"What an interesting major," I mused.

When Fred and I attended college back in the dark ages, we only knew about four occupations. Oh, maybe three. Reading, writing, and arithmetic!

What an intriguing opportunity. No wonder Kylie is always standing on the sidelines!

She is working on her graduate degree in human nutrition, and she will graduate in May. I have since learned that a master’s degree in human nutrition provides career opportunities for every kind of possibility, including hospitals, clinics, business, industry, government organizations, private research, and colleges and universities.

She is a beautiful girl and an exemplary role model; bright, responsible, and looks fit and healthy to me! We wish you success, Kylie, and envy your choice. You go for it, and keep us informed!

"A Woman’s View" is Judi Tabler’s reflection of her experiences and events. She is a wife, mother, writer, teacher, grandmother, and even a great grandmother.