Putting size on to players is a difficult but crucial part of off season development as well as in season maintenance. I have coached at 2 schools are the lowest end of the socioeconomic spectrum. Most of the kids struggle to get enough calories in their bodies to just maintain while working out, let alone add on size.
I have always heard stories of teams giving protein supplements to their players but legally this is a huge NO NO, and i highly advise against that. I want to share some perfectly legal things I have done, to help my players eat more calories throughout the day, to help them put on some size and strength.
After School Program
We have a pretty robust After School Program here with a number of academic and enrichment activities. Our off season weight lifting operates along with the “FIT Club”. Any student who participates is given a free snack, and a free dinner. This is a great resource to have and I know we are lucky to have it. This is the easiest one for me, because it is completely free to our students and myself. I just have to take attendance everyday, and the students who come and stay for the duration of our workouts get a snack from me on their way out the door, and can go to the cafeteria for a dinner after that.
Financing Your Food
- The rest of the ideas all come with a cost. Someone has to pay for more food beyond the after school program. Some options include
- A booster Club/touchdown club fundraising
- Parents donating groceries
- Seeking player/parent donations to purchase food
- Food donations
- Coach(es) buying the food
I personally buy all of the extra food out of my own pocket. I keep my receipts, and document the cost of my donations on an excel sheet.
The ideas I am going to share below are calorie dense, and relatively cheap. Teacher’s obviously don’t make a whole lot so I try to get the most bang for my buck in terms of calories per dollar. I also take what they like and some variety in to account. The kids have to WANT to eat in order to get big. Every kid says “I eat a lot”… no they do not, otherwise they would have no problem putting on weight.
There are plenty of apps that can calculate basal caloric needs (at least ballpark range) based on age, height, weight, and activity level.
You need to add 500 calories to that amount, every single day just to gain weight at a rate of 1lb per week. If a kid is really active, add more.
Before I share the foods I buy weekly, please keep the hippie comments to yourself. I do not want to hear about “junk food”, at the end of the day I personally believe they need more calories overall. I try to pick out foods that are also high in protein, since i can’t give them protein supplements. So if you have something negative to say, drive your Prius to your local CrossFit gym and leave me alone 🙂