Amber Rinestine plays many roles for the Spartans, from watching what they eat and drink to being the “Mom” team.
Team moms are a staple in American youth sports and serve as the coach’s support or chief assistant to solve problems that may arise off the field, such as: B. feeding the team or organizing team bonding activities.
The team mother idea remains largely confined to youth sports, but Amber Rinestine is changing that with Michigan state football. Rinestine said she has become the de facto team mom since joining MSU coaching staff as chief nutritionist for football performances in January.
“I’m always available for them to adapt to,” said Rinestine. “You always have a big sister to take care of you. Or I like to call myself mother because it’s food, and food reminds you of parents and comfort. So you always have a mother to watch and a mother is always here. “
Rinestine’s daily responsibilities as a nutritionist include creating menus for meals before or during exercise, creating drinking plans, managing nutritional supplements, and providing personal nutrition advice to players.
But in her eyes her responsibility for the team is “literally everything under the sun that has to do with food”.
Rinestine is the first full-time nutritionist in Michigan State Football history. Unlike her predecessor, Rob Masterson, who served as performance nutrition director for all sports including soccer, Rinestine’s only responsibility is the soccer team.
Rinestine said it is a blessing to be full-time because she is always with the team at the Duffy Daugherty building and can serve as another form of support for players when they have problems on or off the field.
The players noticed this and welcomed Rinestine as an integral part of the coaching staff and mother of the team.
“We love her,” said senior linebacker Noah Harvey. “She’s great. Everything we ask, she does. I don’t know any man who doesn’t like her. She gets along with everyone on the team.”
Harvey praised the small changes made since Rinestine joined in January, such as: B. “Refueling” or snack breaks during training and setting nutritional goals for players to maximize their performance.
“Now in practice, we do halftimes where we refuel between exercises to get nourishment into our bodies like we would in a game,” said Harvey. “It’s just little things they added that made things better. We have all met our goals that we need to achieve when it comes to weight and body fat and we have seen successes so far. “
Rinestine said working full-time with the team allowed her to focus on relationships with the players during spring camp and focus on individual nutrition plans for the players. She said she works closely with the rest of the coaching staff, particularly strength and conditioning coach Jason Novak, to ensure players are getting the right food for their respective conditioning program.
“We (the coaching staff) are all talking to each other and that depends on what the coaches want to see and what coach Novak wants to see in terms of weights and the like,” said Rinestine.
According to Rinestine, Novak is one of the main reasons she thought about the position and why head coach Mel Tucker hired her. Novak and Rinestine worked together in their respective positions at the IMG Academy in early 2020 before Novak joined MSU in February.
“He’s telling them how to improve their bodies and how to improve their technique, which is huge,” said Rinestine. “After working with him at IMG and seeing this job posting, I said, ‘I love this strength trainer. And I trust this strength coach that any coach he wanted to work under is a great coach. ‘
The collaboration between Rinestine and Novak has earned praise from players and fellow coaching staff for helping transform the Spartans to fit Tucker’s vision for the team.
Elijah Collins said Rinestine and Novak’s joint approach resulted in his best offseason camp yet as a Spartan. Collins said he experienced muscle loss from COVID-19 in the fall but is making significant progress due to his customized strength and conditioning plan.
“I really had to focus on my diet, which Coach Tuck emphasized especially with Amber,” said Collins. “She took great care of us, she does a great job. And I hit the weights hard and had three or four meals and snacks, but I really got into this weight room and tried to do a little more just to get back to where I was. “
Rinestine said she had never worked on a coaching staff like Tucker’s or on a team like Michigan State this year, despite having worked in the NFL with the Eagles and Jets, the NFL Combine Dietary Team, and the universities of North Carolina and Oklahoma.
“I think this team is very unique and very special,” said Rinestine. “I’ve worked with a lot of teams now and I’ve never seen a team create and run a program like Coach Tucker’s here and believe in it as strongly as this team. You want to be here. These players want to be here and learn what is absolutely amazing to see. I’ve been blown away by this team since I’ve been here. “