The role of any staff member travelling with a sports team is wide and varied given the unpredictable nature of tours. One question I’m asked a lot is what I do when I travel with teams on tour. These are some of the main responsibilities that keep me busy.
- The dietitian is responsible for writing catering guidelines for the food prepared for players on match day. In places like India it’s important to meet with the hotels and grounds, assess their food safety practices and food quality and have the food temperatures tested whenever the players are eating. If food is not prepared to safe standards it’s the dietitians responsibility to make that call and ensure other appropriate options are available
- Develop individual nutrition, hydration and heat management plans for players and assist in implementing them
- We also do skinfolds and nutrition consults on tour to monitor changes over longer durations of time (it’s not uncommon in cricket to be on tour for 5 weeks or longer)
- The sports dietitian will implement changes to intake if players become injured (injury nutrition protocols) or unwell and work with other support staff to manage players well being and performance e.g. strength and conditioning coach, physio, team manager, coaches etc
- The ordering, logistics and movement of nutrition related product such as Gatorade, Hydralyte etc is also managed by the dietitian when they are on tour
No two days are the same and with so many moving parts to a tour group, adaptability and flexibility are really important.