Dave Ellis and Lisa Kope explain how the Huskers’ Performance Nutrition program is keeping student-athletes healthy and nourished during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It changes a little bit every day,” Ellis said. “We’re getting better and better at this as we go.”
Kope said students weren’t prepared for a situation like this. “We’re trying to keep our kids in the best possible shape so that when they’re able to come back and start training and competing again, we don’t have nutrient deficiencies, we don’t have kids that put on unnecessary weight or got sick for an extended period of time.”
hi I’m Dave Ellis director performance nutrition here at UNL athletics our performance nutrition team is out here on the curb today delivering all the food that one of our athletes would need per day it’s a seven day week operation while we’re in the Kovach crisis and can’t Norma run our normal training table meals in our face setting and it changes a little bit every day we’re getting better and better at this as we go a lot of key learnings a lot of best practices still evolving on how to do this but my hat goes off to the our team performance nutrition team our student athletes our administration everybody is pulling on a rope in the same direction right now it’s making a difference for our athletes Lisa Kopecky assistant director of performance nutrition and we’re just trying to keep our student athletes healthy and safe during this pandemic some of the things that we’re doing on a regular basis is we’re trying to hand out a Purell wipe when they pull up to pick up their meals with instructions from Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services explaining and high-touch surface areas that they need to pay attention to when they’re cleaning in their environment we’re asking them to wipe down their cell phones the inside of their car everyday many of our student athletes haven’t prepared with actual cleaning supplies at home so they’re frantic and they’re looking for opportunities to get a hold of these things that are not available additional things that we’re able to provide our sick daibei so if we have a student athlete who is under the weather roommate can pick up some canned soot teabags and honey broth crackers applesauce and then we’ll send electrolytes to their environment maybe with a box of Kleenex our numbers have been pretty fluid week to week as high as 200 as low as 100 right in the middle of that right now those numbers will climb back up athletes start to come back to campus and Quarantine and that are missed out of necessity need do you usually drive through solution for their food we have two teams of twenty to twenty five personnel that run three days ships three days on three days off that seems to be working very well it’s really important to me being a mom of three teenage kids I know they haven’t planned they’re not prepared for a situation such as this and we’re trying to keep our kids in the best possible shape so that when they’re able to come back and start training and competing again we don’t have nutrient deficiencies we don’t have kids that put on unnecessary weight or got sick for an extended period of time so we’re really trying to meet all of their nutritional needs right now I think that this is really unique also to the Midwest the work ethic the commitment of our personnel that they’re full-time employees to continue to supply and help our athletes this is not probably happening every place I think it’s actually pretty unique then I think it’s something that we can be really proud of here at UNL