Training table is here

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The Notre Dame athletic department announced its first training table program for the football team today, a quick turnaround from Jack Swarbrick’s initial discussion about the implementation of specialty meals for athletes back in December.

According to an official release, the training table is the first of two pilot programs the athletic department will roll out, the second beginning later this semester. Right now, the program is a specialized dinner menu Monday through Friday for football players designed by sports nutritionist Erika Whitman, who will also oversee the meals. As the program continues, athletes from other sports programs will be included.

This is the first initiative by Mike Karwoski, who after 17 years working in NCAA compliance at Notre Dame has transitioned to the newly created Athletes Performance Program, which focuses on the development and implementation of comprehensive programs designed to help Notre Dame student-athletes achieve optimal results.

I’m really impressed with the turnaround time on training table, and while the system isn’t totally in place, getting a dinner implemented Monday to Friday during the off-season football workouts was essential, and it’ll allow the team to refuel their bodies with proper meals, something you might not always find at North or South Dining Halls.

I’m intrigued by the new Athletes Performance Program, and I think its another great initiative set-up under the guidance of athletic director Jack Swarbrick. While most of us think its common sense to do things like eat properly while training, I think back to my years in college and realize I had next to no clue about things that were good for me and things that weren’t. For years, Notre Dame was way behind the curve with training facilities. While the university did the heavy lifting needed to get world-class training facilities, not following that up with proper nutrition was misguided. Most people don’t drop 200 grand on a Ferrari only to fill it up with low-grade gasoline. With this new meal plan and performance program, it’s clear that the Irish are intent on fixing both the macro and micro issues.