Coaches’ Attitudes, Knowledge, and Practices Concerning Weight Loss Behaviors in High School Wrestling

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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High school wrestling coaches (N=161) were surveyed concerning their perceptions of weight loss in wrestlers. Results indicated that a majority of coaches thought that wrestlers lose too much weight, and that only four weight loss methods (increased exercise, skipping snacks, eating smaller meals, counting calories) were endorsed as both effective and safe. However, the coaches also reported that they knew wrestlers engaged in unsafe weight loss methods, and a majority let the wrestler himself make decisions about minimal wrestling weight. The data were interpreted as reinforcing the need for responsible adult supervision of wrestling programs.

Ellen Weissinger is with the Department of Educational Psychology, and Terry Housh and Glen Johnson are with the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588-0345.

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