Introducing Nutrition Coach Hannah Sweetman, from a high performing youth athlete to a Lead Nutrition Coach, Hannah understands better than most how important correct nutrition is for youth athletes. We caught up with her to dig deep into the tactics, experiences and tools she uses with youth athletes around the world.
YSN: How did you get into coaching? and why?
HS: I first got into coaching as a progression from an athlete of the sport. I was rowing for my high school team and after leaving high school and moving into university and club rowing I wanted to give back to provide the same opportunity I was given.
YSN: What do you coach?
HS: After coaching rowing at different schools for 8 years I moved into the area of nutrition, which is a passion of mine. I now coach a variety of different clients ranging from clients who want to improve their sports performance to clients who want to improve their body composition, health and well-being.
YSN: Where do you coach?
HS: I now coach online allowing me to coach clients from anywhere in the world. I have worked with clients from England, USA, New Zealand to Dubai. That’s the nice part of online coaching it allows you to reach and help more people.
YSN: How long have you been coaching?
HS: I have been coaching nutrition now for 7 years. After finishing my degree in Sport and Recreation where I majored in Exercise Science and Nutrition I was fortunate to work in a youth athlete development program. This enabled me to get my starting point of working with up and coming athletes. Since then I have had the opportunity to present nutrition seminars to companies looking to improve staff health, youth development programs and University sports teams looking for that extra edge over their competition.
YSN: What is your greatest coaching achievement?
HS: My greatest accomplishment is seeing clients overcome struggles and change current behaviours to enable them to live a happier and healthier lifestyle. I believe education is important when coaching, as you want clients/athletes to understand why they are doing something. That way they are more likely to buy into the process and ingrain the habits required to be the best they can be.
YSN: What is the single hardest decision you’ve ever had to make in coaching position?
HS: Dropping a member of the rowing crew. It was tough but this boat was made up of 4 people and one wasn’t putting in the work required to keep her seat. Consequently, the next person was ready to step up. It all worked out in the end as being dropped from her team signalled her to re-evaluate the work she was putting in. She ended up getting her seat back through hard work and determination.
YSN: What tools, tactics or strategies do you use to combat adversity?
HS: Self and team evaluation. Taking time to sit down and debrief with your team and or your coach allows you to evaluate what didn’t go to plan but what can be done next time to improve.
YSN: If you had the chance to speak to your younger self as a coach, what would you say?
HS: On the hard days, I would have reminded myself that those are the days that make the good days great. You have to have the hard sessions, the disappointment, and the long hours to make the good days great!
YSN: What are your future aspirations?
HS: To continue to help others achieve their personal goals via health and nutrition coaching. Which will, in turn, help me achieve my personal goals of growing my nutrition business, therefore, being able to help more people from around the world.
YSN: How can parents best support a youth athletes training?
HS: By showing up. The best thing my parents ever did for me was to always be there. They attended all matches they could and never pushed or forced me to do anything I didn’t want to do. They always encouraged me and were there when I wanted to talk or analyse a race but understood and gave me space when I needed to analyse it on my own.
YSN: What are your objective thoughts on Youth Sports Nutrition designing PRO-TEEN®, the first supplement for high-level youth athletes to support their recovery post training/match?
HS: Protein is important for an athlete’s recovery and usually something that gets overlooked post training/match. By making protein easier and more convenient for the young athlete they are more likely to get their required intake level and improve recovery and performance.
YSN: What is your favourite quote?
HS: “Only you can control your future” – Dr Seuss.
Hannah has offered her services to any of our readership.
HS: If anyone is interested in or has any questions about Online Athlete, online nutrition coaching or have any nutrition concerns I’m more then happy to help. The best way to get in contact is by sending me an to firstname.lastname@example.org or I can be contacted via their website www.onlineathlete.org
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