This article is authored by Doug Scott. Opinions expressed may not be that of SMARTER Team Training, STT sponsors or constituents. Coach Scott has been a member of the Pingry faculty since 1999 and has served as a Physical Education teacher and Strength and Conditioning coach since that time. Doug designs workouts for both male and female student athletes competing on a variety of Varsity and Junior Varsity athletic teams, including many county, state, and conference championship teams. Listen to Doug’s podcast on iTunes by clicking here.

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The idea of a performance bag is something I learned from sports nutritionist Tim Wierman. He has found from countless encounters with both high school and college athletes that their performance drops off when they don’t eat enough calories. He also understands that eating the basic 3 meals a day does not work well for overly active people. This is why he recommends that all his athletes pack a performance bag with between 700-­1000 calories of easily digested, convenient and tasty foods. These snacks are to be eaten throughout the day in addition to your regular meals. Whether you choose to eat your snacks before or after practice the idea is to keep your “fuel tank” topped off so you will have enough energy and can perform at your best.

Sample Performance Bag
1 (20 oz) Gatorade = 130 calories
1 medium banana = 100 calories
1 peanut butter and jelly sandwich (cut into quarters for easy snacking) = 400-­500 calories
1 sports bar (power bar) = 150-­300 calories

I know that this may take a few minutes each day to pack, but if you want to be a better athlete you will have to get focused and have the discipline to do the little things that make a big difference. Packing a performance bag will certainly make a big difference in your nutrition.

Recovery tip:
You may have heard that eating or drinking something that contains both carbohydrates and protein after a workout or practice is important. Hopefully you also remember that “high tech” muscle building supplements are not needed, regardless of what the advertisers tell you. So keeping in line with the idea that “real food” is always a better option to supplements.

After your next workout try eating some yogurt. A popular brand of fruit flavored yogurt has roughly 230 calories, 9 grams of protein, 40+ grams of carbohydrate, 345 mg of calcium, and more than 400 mg of potassium per 8 ounce serving. All these nutrients aid in recovery and for as little as $1.25 per serving. Which is a lot more economical than your “muscle milkshake” and just as effective.

Doug Scott believes that strength training is a “means to and end” and should be a part of every athlete’s lifestyle; and it’s the coaches job to facilitate learning and put the athlete in the best position to get the most out of themselves and ultimately succeed. Mr. Scott has also worked as a personal trainer and has written a number of fitness-related articles and chapters. Coach Scott is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and hold the title of Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. You can contact him at