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Live Your Purpose


Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 23, 2014) -- It started with a question, which led to a product aimed at helping Lancer athletes be all that they can.

Four years ago Chris Bates was interviewing with California Baptist University for the position of head strength and conditioning coach. He remembers being asked what the Chris Bates era would be like.

"I thought that was a really cool question," Bates said. "It did two things. It empowered me to really do my job, but then it also freed me up to really dream and think big."

CBU did not have a strength and conditioning program when he was hired, so Bates built the program from the ground up. He did an assessment of what the program had and what was needed, everything from equipment to non-tangibles such as the mission of athletics. He changed the name of the program to Athletic Performance Development to be more encompassing and to include strength conditioning, speed agility and leadership development. Over time, the program received a new facility and equipment. The program also helps student athletes who get injured.

"I'm here primarily for the student athletes, to train our student athletes, to help them to get stronger, to help them perform better," he said.

The latest component in helping athletes perform better is nutrition. This summer the Lancers Fuel, a nutrition guide, was put together and will be given to all student athletes.

"The most immediate need for Lancers Fuel was education," Bates said. "Student athletes would constantly ask, ‘Hey, Coach Bates, what should I be eating?'"

That made him think the students needed more information. He researched and looked at what other schools were doing. Then he shared his vision and brainstormed with Dr. Micah Parker, director of athletics. Dr. Margaret Barth, program director of nutrition and food sciences in the CBU College of Allied Health, was brought on board. Kimberly Walters, a nutrition and food sciences senior, began doing research in June, looking at nutrition textbooks and other programs with university athletic nutrition manuals and assembling the information. It was customized for CBU student athletes.

"We wanted it to be very practical and hands-on," Barth said. The guide includes information on portion sizes, when to eat, energy drinks, supplements, sleep and more. It also gives recommendations for students in specific sports.

"The sky's the limit right now on how they use it," Bates said. The athletic performance development staff will reference it. They will also encourage the coaches to use it with the teams.

Both Bates and Barth see the guide as just the beginning to teaching CBU athletes about nutrition.

"That's just the first phase in the education," Bates said. "I definitely think it's a great platform just to continue to build our Lancers Fuel program and ultimately build our athletic performance development program," Bates said.