Being on the "inside" of any female athlete's life, whether soccer or otherwise, the obsession with weight and body image just gets stronger, despite all efforts to combat it.
The beauty of soccer, however, is that the pleasure and success derived from the game are completely contrary to the obsession with thinness. In other words, good appetites and healthful eating contribute to the strong bodies that will prevail in the rigors of the game. Good coaches, parents and players are wisely on the lookout for any behavior that contradicts this fact.
Body consciousness, however, is not a bad thing in and of itself. People often wonder: how much should I weigh?
Below are some general guidelines on weight from Food Guide for Soccer.
Although only nature knows the best weight for your body, the following guidelines offer a very general method to estimate a healthy weight range. Add or subtract 10 percent, according to your body frame and musculature. (Note: These guidelines do not work for very muscular soccer players.)
Women: 100 pounds (45 kg) for the first 5 feet (1.52 m) of height; five pounds (2.3 kg) per inch (2.5 cm) thereafter. Example: A woman who is 5-foot-6 could appropriately weigh 130 pounds, or 117 pounds at the lower end if she is petite or 143 lbs if she is muscular. (1.7 m; 59 kg, 53-65 kg)
Men: 106 pounds (48 kg) for the first 5 feet (1.52 m) of height; six pounds (2.7 kg) per inch (2.5 cm) thereafter. Example: A man who is 5-10 could appropriately weigh 166 pounds, or 150 pounds at the lower end if he is petite or 182 pounds if he is muscular. (1.8 m; 75.5 kg, 68-83 kg)
If you are striving to weigh significantly less than the weight estimated by these general guidelines, think again. Remember: in addition to skill, soccer is a game of strength, endurance and power. In addition to the genetic design for your body, if you are a serious player, your soccer training, as well as the conditioning (including weights) is meant to increase performance and prevent injury. It is also likely to create a muscular body.
The best weight goal is the weight that makes you feel strong and powerful. That's the "body beautiful," and the body for performance and health!
Read more tips like these in "Food Guide for Soccer--Tips & Recipes From the Pros" by Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, RD. The book addresses nutrition questions and concerns of soccer athletes of all ages, and offers almost 50 recipes from players in Women's Professional Soccer. Find the book at NancyClarkRD.com or at Amazon.com.