While the athletic facilities at Notre Dame rank among the best in the country, there has been one component missing that almost every elite program in the country had – a training table. As of Monday however, the Irish were no longer without one as the University unrolled what it is calling a pilot program with the football team with the introduction of a training table.
For those unfamiliar with what exactly a training table is, it is basically a “table” for athletes to eat at which contains different food from a standard cafeteria with a specific menu developed by the school’s nutritionist to provide maximum support to strength and conditioning work. In short, its a way of making sure athletes are eating the proper foods to supplement their weight training.
The move to install a training table was in part in response to the football team’s drastic weight loss throughout the season. Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick stated at the end of the season that Notre Dame saw double digit weight losses across the defensive line alone.
For now the training table is just for the football team as the University unrolls the “pilot program” before unveiling a long term solution that will serve the other men’s and women’s teams.
Here’s an excerpt from the official Athletics website’s blog on the training table.
The pilot program for football initially involves dinner Monday through Friday. Athletic department sports nutritionist Erika Whitman has helped develop menus and will be in attendance to help student-athletes make good choices. Training table options and locations are being studied for other Irish sports programs. This marks the first of a series of initiatives in the area of sports performance, led by Irish associate athletics director Mike Karwoski.
The NCAA allows for one meal a day to come from a training table for athletes.
The training table should be seen as a very welcomed addition to the football program as other top programs around the country have had similar setups for years. It’s significance shouldn’t be dismissed either. The weight loss experienced by the team over the course of the season and the late season nose dives the past two years shouldn’t be seen as completely unrelated.