Feb. 12, 2013
Each week, AuburnTigers.com will take a look at a different personality from Auburn Athletics. This blog will take a look at the various perspectives of student-athletes, coaches and administrators. The first entry is written by Auburn Sports Dietitian Scott Sehnert. Enjoy his insights and join us again for another account next week.
By Scott Sehnert
Sports Dietitian. That's what I tell people when I am asked what I do for Auburn Athletics. The first thing people think about when they hear the word dietitian is that person in the white lab coat that talked to their granddad about a heart healthy diet in the hospital. While I am so grateful for those dietitians, I am not that kind of dietitian.
My education and training includes a bachelor's degree from Ball State University in dietetics where I played football and then lacrosse. I received a master's degree in nutritional sciences from University of Kentucky where I also completed my dietetic internship. I then completed a sports dietetics internship with US Speed Skating before taking my first job at Michigan State University. While at Michigan State I also completed a master's degree in exercise physiology. I came to work for Auburn Athletics in August 2009.
As the Sports Dietitian for Auburn Athletics I wear many dietitian hats - clinical, food service, wellness, community and performance. Just in the last couple of weeks, my days varied across these tasks.
As a clinical dietitian, I counseled an athlete that has some food intolerances on meals and snacks that will help him fuel his training and recovery. As a food service dietitian, I met with our Swimming & Diving operations staff on menu development for their week-long trip to College Station for SEC Championships. I also ordered smoothies for our Baseball team, and maintained our "fruit, nut, bagel" station with Football to aid in their recovery from training.
As a wellness dietitian, I developed and presented to our entire athletic department a healthy lifestyle presentation. As a community dietitian, I worked with our staff to develop a new `Porcelain Pointer' to put in our team locker rooms. Porcelain Pointers are brief, educational handouts that are displayed above urinals and on the back of bathroom stall doors on all topics of performance and health. (It is difficult to reach all 500+ student-athletes at Auburn, but fortunately I have found the one place where I will always have a captive audience.)
But, the lion share of my job is spent as a performance dietitian. This week I counseled numerous athletes on ways to build lean body mass, lose fat mass and maintain energy levels during a long season of competition. I also evaluated and educated student-athletes on dietary supplements. All of the above are done in my office, in the weight room after training or in the athletic training room. I assessed body composition using a tool called the BODPOD, and made sure all of our sports had either Gatorade recovery shakes or chocolate milk available for recovery.
As you can see, I can be doing one of many tasks throughout the week, but that's why I love my job. It's certainly never boring and oftentimes very fulfilling.