Welcome to High School Coach Training on Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S)!

About our Course:

Our program introduces the concept of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S), which is a condition that results from inadequate caloric intake or excessive energy expenditure over an extended period of time, leading to low energy availability and dysfunction of the body's organ systems. RED-S can be caused by a combination of factors such as restrictive eating, weight loss practices, and excessive energy expenditure through training and competition. It can have negative effects on an athlete's health and performance, including decreased immunity, decreased muscle mass, and decreased cognitive function, leading to missed practices and competitions, diminished performance, and increased injuries. RED-S can also negatively impact an athlete's mental health, leading to decreased motivation, increased stress and anxiety, and even depression.

The prevalence of RED-S varies, but it has been shown to be up to 79% of athletes with another 25% at moderate to high risk of lower energy availability. It can occur in any sport where there is pressure to maintain a certain body composition or weight and can disproportionately affect female athletes due to the more definitive presentation of RED-S as amenorrhea. Early identification and intervention are crucial in managing RED-S and preventing long-term health consequences. Coaches have a unique ability to influence thought patterns and behaviors that can place an athlete at high risk for developing RED-S, and they determine the duration, intensity, and structure of athletic training schedules, which greatly contribute to this energy deficit. As such, coaches are a crucial group for the prevention, early identification, and intervention of RED-S, particularly in high-risk high school athlete populations.

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