Crawley Wasps players will benefit from the input of a sports nutritionist as the club ramps up its preparations for the coming season.
Jack Hill, who has a Masters in sports nutrition from Liverpool John Moores University, initially joined Wasps’ backroom staff in February.
The Covid-19 outbreak curtailed his involvement but he will now start working alongside coach Chat Perera and head of strength and conditioning Jordan Stannard, as they analyse the various performance metrics of the players.
“We’ll be asking players to fill out food diaries for a few days, which will allow the development of individualised nutrition plans to improve health and performance”, Hill said.
“We’ll revisit them throughout the season, making tweaks depending on what the metrics say. Everything is to be tailored to players’ different positions.
“If, for instance, there’s someone whose performance is regularly dropping in the second half, it might be there’s a fuelling problem than can be addressed through their diet.
“We want to try and improve performance. You wouldn’t put the wrong fuel in a car and expect to win a grand prix.”
Hill previously worked with the men’s teams at Crawley Town and Eastbourne Borough, and says nutrition is vital when it comes to supporting players’ recovery and immune health.
“Nutrition is often referred to as the silent training,” he said. “Training and playing matches gives you an endorphin release – but no-one gets a round of applause for eating a bowl of porridge!
“But when you show people the evidence, of what difference it makes to performance, they soon start to buy into it.”
First-team boss Paul Walker said the addition of Hill to the backroom staff was “very welcome”, as the club again aims to challenge at the top of the FA Women’s National League Southern Premier.
He added: “There is a growing recognition of the importance of nutrition and diet for players competing at the elite levels of the women’s game, and its role in optimising personalised strength and conditioning programmes for players.
“It also reflects the determination of Crawley Wasps to continue our journey and building a team-around-the-team, in support of our long-term ambitions.”