Interview with Performance 365 (Leslie Bonci, Roberta Anding, Jen Ketterly)

Interview with Performance 365 (Leslie Bonci, Roberta Anding, Jen Ketterly)

Every successful sports league has vital positions, some visible some more behind the scenes. Performance 365 was one of those behind the scenes partners that helped the XFL. That leads to the first question…

Q1: For those reading who don’t know what Performance 365 is, could you explain what you do?

LB: Performance 365 is a sports nutrition consulting company with sports dietitians with extensive experience in all aspects of sports nutrition. This includes program development, menu development with a focus on culture and cost and working with athletes to fuel their bodies for success on and off the field.

Q2: What was Performance 365’s role with the XFL?

LB: Our role in the XFL was to help build a sports nutrition program to help the athletes and teams to perform at the highest level. We were privileged to work with outstanding professionals including the players, coaches, athletic trainers and strength coaches. We partnered with the hotels to improve menu choices, address individual players restrictions and enhance food safety protocols.

Q3: Who are some of the athletes you have worked with?

LB: I worked with the Pittsburgh Steelers for 24 years, and the Kansas City Chiefs for the past 6 years. I have worked with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals, Milwaukee Brewers and the Cincinnati Reds as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins and Olympic Athletes including Tara Lipinski and Usain Bolt. Have also worked with MLS soccer and US Rugby , the LPGA and the XFL. I was the sports dietitian for the University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics for almost 30 years working with all men’s and women’s
sports. I always talk about sports dietitians being the pit crew helping our athletes ( the drivers) excel

RA: I was the first sports dietitian for the Houston Texans. In that role, I was privileged to work with so many great players and hard workers. Not all of them would be household names but it was the hard work and discipline that set them apart; Kevin Walter, Tim Bulman, Joel Dressen, David Anderson are just a few of the grinders. Clearly, other names would include Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, Arian Foster and JJ Watt. For the past nine years, I worked for the Houston Astros and was part of the 2017 World Series team. What an honor
to know and work with Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and George Springer. I starting working with these outstanding players when they were in "A" ball affiliates to their jump to the big leagues. There are always going to be players with amazing talent and those who always have to earn every inch. The beauty
of the role of a sports dietitian is to help each athlete improve their health and Performance. Jen Ketterly developed two outstanding sports nutrition programs at UNC and Georgia. She is currently the sports dietitian for the Charlotte Hornets NBA franchise. Jen also is nutrition analyst and sweat testing consultant for the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.

Q4: What advice would you give to athletes trying to stay in shape and ready during the pandemic

LB: My big three are consistency in the number of meals/snacks daily, quality in food and fluid choices and quantity consumed. I always remind my athletes Be in Prime time by parenthesizing workouts and competition with food and fluid Think your Drink- with emphasis on water, unsweetened beverages, vegetable juice, 100% fruit juice and less highly sugared beverages and alcohol Create a great plate- that means produce, protein and carbs at each meal along with healthy fats. And consider lifestyle habits. Sleep is a key time to help the body recover, restore, refresh and renew.

RA: Staying in shape during the pandemic is a team approach ; the athlete, the strength coach and sports dietitian. Often, athletes believe that their performance meals need to be expensive or include lots of supplements. Building performance plates can be accomplished many ways and this may include using frozen or even canned vegetables, some source of lean protein and a grain or starch. Moderating alcohol, soft drinks and sweets can also be a goal. Sports dietitians are uniquely trained to provide all athletes the foods they need regardless of budget and with an eye on culture

Q5: What insight can you give to the casual fan about how important Performance 365 was for the XFL?

LB: it takes a village to field a football team. What, when and how much a player eats impacts performance in the weight room and the field of play. The goal is to put the best nourished player on the field, fueled with foods that provide energy, contribute to strength and speed and minimize the risk of injury. In addition, the sports dietitian brings the credentials to help educate about players who have weight goals on what to put on their plate.

Performance 365 also worked with the food service staff to make sure the food was at the right temperature, on ice when necessary, and in appropriate amounts and offered suggestions on modifications to reduce food waste.
Performance 365 worked closely with the director of performance and the ATCs to make sure that there was implementation of the recommendations.

Q6: Living in this pandemic what advice do you have for non athletes who might be trying to get in shape with their free time?

LB: Control what you can with your fueling and fitness plan. Eating and exercising are not mutually exclusive. Don’t be extreme with either your exercise or diet. Do try to eat within your calorie cap, your salary cap and make sure you include foods and activities that you enjoy. But do it safely, smartly, and make changes gradually.

RA: For non- athletes, I would suggest some type of schedule especially when working from home or while you are job searching. Make exercise appointments with yourself. As an example, set an alarm to go exercise at 8 AM most days of the week. Plan your meals. Not only is it cost effective but it may reduce impulse buying. You can walk, run, bike or swim Get outdoors if you can for those aerobic workouts. Don’t forget strength training. Look up a variety of YouTube videos on body weight exercises if you are working from home. Planning is clearly the key!!

Q7: Would Performance 365 be open to working with the XFL under their new ownership?

LB: Performance 365 would absolutely love to partner with the new ownership group. Building a strong foundation is a key to success. We bring the experience, the competence and the excellence to the table to help players fuel well, stay well and play well.

Big thanks to Performance 365 for taking time out of their day to answer questions about what they do.