Advanced Level: Mastery of the Basics

May 4, 2020

We are all familiar with the saying, “practice makes perfect”.  But the method of practice is equally as important as the amount of time invested.  There are countless research articles addressing the factors that can determine the success of your practice and they cover a wide variety of topics.  The state of your current sleeping pattern, the attention to technique, the nutritional intake and the time invested are just a few topics that spring to mind.  Liana Nici, a Dietician for one of the most successful Australian Rules Football Clubs in the West Coast Eagles sits down with Whitney Tuna for some insight into the importance of nutrition for an athlete at any level.

Liana explains working with the West Coast Eagles has been a career highlight.  Managing the nutritional needs of 30 athletes has shown Liana the importance of knowing the athlete, knowing their body and knowing their role within the team.  This allows her to dive deep into their psyche as well as their performance.  A method Liana says is absolutely necessary if you want the best results.  The first step towards the right improvement begins with defining the goal.  Liana explains the paramount importance of getting to know the athlete prior to offering any nutritional advice.  Understandably, most athletes will share the common goal of success, but what that looks like and the road to getting there will undoubtedly vary from one athlete to the next.  Investigating the role Liana plays and the responsibility of the athlete, Liana explains there is a common misconception that the performance on the day is all that matters.  Going more in depth, Liana explains the importance of pre and post performance routine.  If you want your body to maintain peak performance, it is vital to prepare and recover using the correct methods.  A concept that is quite easy to understand.

Knowledge can easily be turned into power.  In order to execute well, it is imperative to have a deep understanding of the concept.  Liana touches on some of the battles that appear with the high performing athlete.  Surprisingly, under-eating is at the top of the list.  But Liana explains that the reasons for under-eating often vary.  Having experienced such a dilemma first hand on many occasions, Liana reiterates the importance of defining the ultimate goal the athlete is working towards.  She says this helps the athlete to completely understand the sacrifice required to get to the highest level of performance.  Liana explains accepting your body will change in ways you may not like also helps the athlete to realise just how driven and how serious they are about achieving their goal.  Like anything worth working towards, there will be parts that you enjoy and parts that you dislike, but they go hand in hand.  Building the routine for all aspects of performance will create good habits and ensure that high level performance is maintainable.  Liana relates the importance of such a method to combat sports.  She explains, losing the good habits will likely see an athlete move too far away from their competing weight and result in pushing the body too hard in a short period of time in order to perform.  This will likely result in early fatigue and or injury both physically and mentally.

Liana offers a mountain of knowledge in her chat with Whitney.  It serves as a strong reminder of the importance of focusing on the habits that are needed in order to be successful.  Often we are guilty of looking at the giant and scary goal that is at the end of the journey and this sometimes works as a deterrent.  Liana is an incredibly knowledgeable individual and she offers some amazing advice for the performing athlete and the significant effect the relationship you have with food has on your life in multiple ways.  Every great champion has mastered the basics.

Happy listening!


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