New Facility, Staffing For Ole Miss Athletics Nutrition
Melinda Valliant, Ole Miss Sports Dietitian

July 31, 2013

This is the first in a series of stories related to the Health and Sports Performance Division of Ole Miss Athletics.

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

OXFORD, Miss. -- When head football coach Hugh Freeze arrived at Ole Miss, he started requiring breakfast every morning for his players. It not only paid off with a 7-6 season, but it also helped push forward plans for a performance nutrition center, which is scheduled for completion by late 2013.

"We started noticing kids were more successful in class, they had more energy in the morning, their workouts were better, their spring practice was better, and they seemed to be performing better in the weight room," said Shannon Singletary, senior associate athletics director for Health and Sports Performance.

"We started noticing all of that, and then it became a priority for [Director of Athletics] Ross [Bjork] because he has been at other schools that have had them. With Ross, his emphasis is the well-being of the athlete, so when he got here, along with Coach Freeze, they made it a priority."

The new dining facility, which is one of a couple changes in the area of nutrition within the health and sports division, will include a full kitchen and dining hall that will be part of the Ole Miss dining program and open to every student and faculty and staff member. 

The term, "training table," long a buzzword for fans, has evolved into the performance nutrition centers of today, and from his conversations with colleagues, Singletary said this is the new trend that is about to get kicked off in college athletics.

"The training table, basically, is the performance nutrition center," he said. "The term `training table' came from back before the NCAA changed the rule in the mid-1990s to take the training table away, saying that you could not have an athletic cafeteria that only served athletes. The term `training table' kind of went away. 


 

 

"Now, the term `training table' is popping back up because people are building performance nutrition centers, and they are opening them up to the public, which is OK, according to the NCAA regulations. Now, people are starting to use the term `training table' again."

Another change is the new partnership between the Ole Miss Athletic Department and the University's School of Applied Science. A new full-time sports nutritionist will be hired, who will be housed in nutrition and also have an office in the Indoor Practice Facility. Also, as part of this partnership, 8-10 University undergraduate students with a background in nutrition will have the opportunity to work for athletics.

"We're the first in the SEC to have an academic-athletic link," said Melinda Valliant, Ole Miss Sports Dietitian. "The sports dietitian is going to be hired in our department [Dietetics and Nutrition], and we are working with athletics to provide that service, which for me is exciting because I'm a faculty member, and it allows me to have that connection.

"And for our students, it's going to be a fabulous opportunity for them to get some work experience, and for athletics, they will be getting eager, fresh, excited students."

Before the construction of the new dining facility, a large emphasis is placed on enhanced meals, meaning the team meals and pregame meals, the meal -- one meal a day -- the NCAA allows athletic departments to feed student-athletes.

Valliant and the new full-time sports dietitian will work with the coaches, the director of operations and athletics trainers to design those particular meals, in addition to other consulting, from cooking classes to helping student-athletes shop at the grocery store.

Another large part of nutrition for student-athletes is the "Fueling Stations," with a location in the Starnes Athletic Trainer Center and two more being built in the Indoor Practice Facility and Basketball Practice Facility. And as part of the collaboration with the new academic-athletic link, the Athletic Department will now have personnel with a background in nutrition to help man those stations.

"They're so critical especially for those early morning workouts," Valliant said of the `Fueling Stations.' "The student-athletes work out at six, then they have class at eight, and they don't have time to go home, so those fueling stations have made a huge difference in helping the student-athletes recover from their workouts, and also go to class with some brain fuel.

"It's important to me to think about our athletes not only just performing well in the weight room and on the field, but in the classroom as well. And we know there is a link between them being able to eat and get to class."

Whether it's new facilities, new staff or new partnerships, the focus is on the studentathlete as a whole, where they are in their lives and help them be the best people they can.

"I just have an interest in helping people get better, whether that's to improve their fitness, or improve their nutritional health," Valliant said. "And with athletes, it's nice to see somebody come in and adopt some nutritional changes, then play better on the field or court. So I enjoy it because you really help people reach their potential."

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

    • Former Rebel Coach Ron Aldy Honored at Kirk Academy

      Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - Women's Basketball

      Former Women's Basketball Head Coach Ron Aldy and his family at gym floor dedication at Kirk Academy today. pic.twitter.com/Ruyc9TFui5-- Holmes Athletics (@holmesathletics) January 14, 2017 p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px... read more

    • Tunsil Named AFC East Rookie of the Year by ESPN

      Monday, January 16, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Miami Dolphins offensive lineman and Ole Miss' former blind side protector Laremy Tunsil was named AFC East rookie of... read more

    • Three Rebel Coaches Among Top-20 Recruiters Nationally

      Friday, January 13, 2017 - Football

      With the hiring of Jacob Peeler as wide receiver coach, #OleMiss now has three asst coaches ranked in @247Sports '16 Top 20 best recruiters.-- Brad Logan (@BradLoganCOTE) January 10, 2017 Ole Miss football bolstered its coaching staff by adding coaching... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Georgia

      Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - Men's Basketball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Georgia (10-5, 2-1) KenPom ranking: 61 Best win: at No. 103 Auburn Worst loss: at No. 79 Oakland Ole... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Auburn

      Saturday, January 7, 2017 -

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Know the Opponent: Auburn (10-4) KenPom ranking: 105 Best win: No. 28 Texas Tech Worst loss: No. 172 Boston... read more

    • Longo Named FCS Coordinator of the Year

      Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #333333; -webkit-text-stroke: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; min-height: 17.0px} p.p4 {margin:... read more

    • Freeze to Join Finebaum Film Room During Peach Bowl

      Friday, December 30, 2016 -

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Helvetica; min-height: 16.0px} ESPN is providing fans multiple ways to view the College Football Playoff, and Ole Miss head coach is playing... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Kentucky

      Thursday, December 29, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} Know the Opponent: Kentucky (10-2)KenPom ranking: 4Best win: No. 3 North CarolinaWorst loss: No. 13 UCLAOle Miss opens up... read more

    • Know the Opponent: South Alabama

      Thursday, December 22, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: South Alabama (7-5)KenPom ranking: 218 Best win: at No. 187 UNLV Worst loss: at No. 303 Stetson Ole Miss has one final tuneup before conference play begins and it comes in the form of South Alabama. South Alabama on Offense:... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Bradley

      Monday, December 19, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Bradley (5-6) KenPom ranking: 235 Best win: at No. 222 Eastern Illinois Worst loss: No. 253 Delaware Ole Miss faces Bradley in the second-to-last nonconference matchup before SEC play begins. Bradley on Offense: Bradley has not been great this season on... read more

    • New Coordinators Help Address Critical Areas

      Friday, December 16, 2016 - Football

      Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze had specific deficiencies that he wanted his coordinator hires to address. On offense, he wanted to improve the rushing attack, third down efficiency, and red zone scoring. On defense, Freeze wanted his new coordinator... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Murray State

      Thursday, December 15, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Murray State (5-5) KenPom ranking: 162  Ole Miss returns home to face Murray State in its first home game in nearly two weeks in a matchup of two strong offenses.Murray State on Offense: Once again, Ole Miss... read more

    • Haynes' Return a Boon for Ole Miss Defense

      Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.4px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #292f33; -webkit-text-stroke: #292f33} p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Virginia Tech

      Sunday, December 11, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Virginia Tech (7-1) KenPom ranking: 36 Ole Miss faces one of the most well-rounded teams in the nation Sunday in Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech. Va Tech's offensive efficiency ranks 24th nationally, while their defensive efficiency also strong at 67th.... read more

    • Archie to Receive Gold Medal from NFF on Tuesday

      Monday, December 5, 2016 - Football

      Ole Miss legend Archie Manning will be receiving the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame Gold Medal on Tuesday, December 6, at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner. The highest and most prestigious award presented by the National... read more

OFFICIAL STORE

GET SOCIAL

Twitter

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Instagram

Facebook