Collegiate Sports Nutrition Logic Model

“This is a well thought out and practical approach for developing and improving sports nutrition programs. It is easy to get lost in the day to day operations and this model helps to stay focused on the measurable outcomes we are seeking to achieve. It is also helpful to see it all in an easy to understand format and how all the moving parts are connected. Thank you for providing a valuable resource that is much needed in sports dietetics!”Stephanie West, Sports RD.

“As a sports dietitian who has also worked with various universities, I have to applaud you for this incredible share. To have had this when I started out would have been such an asset. This video is true quality and worth the watch for any RDs who are starting in sports nutrition! Cheers to you!” – Natasha McLaughlin-Chaisson, Sports RD

*Note* If you found any of this information useful, please help me out by responding to my brief survey with your feedback.

This model is a tool for Sports Dietitians to plan, implement, evaluate, and report on their sports nutrition programs. Although this particular model is designed for a collegiate setting, it is malleable enough to be converted to suit a private practice or professional sports nutrition setting. Be sure to open the manuscript link to get a detailed description of each step in the model.

The Toolkit (below) offers some resources and examples at every level of the model. If you have any suggestions for additional resources in the toolkit, please let me know. If you’ve created or used something that could be helpful to other sports RDNs, I’m happy to add it.

Video Overview of the CSN Logic Model

Click here for the CSN Logic Model manuscript

CSN Toolkit

Click here for the CSN Workbook

Step 1: Needs Assessment

What do you need to know?

  • CSN WorkbookPrint this off and fill it out, follow along, and plan each component of YOUR program step-by-step.
  • Does your Program REALLY Need a Dietitian to do that? This infographic helps your department understand the roles of a dietitian VS foodservice VS interns skills. This is a helpful tool to help re-educate staff and coaches who think it is your job to make smoothies for the teams.
  • Assessing Program & Team Needs- A focus group is a good place to start. This resource will help you conduct your focus groups with admins and coaches.
  • Food IntakeMyFitnessPal–¬†Nutrition tracking tool. A tracking tool for athletes. I’ve used this successfully with 1000’s of athletes to teach calories and macros in foods.
  • Food Intake– This picture based food log is a free app your athletes can download. Just snap a picture.
  • Athlete Nutrition Knowledge– This survey is a great tool developed by dietitians for assessing athletes’ knowledge of sports nutrition.
  • Eating Disorder Female AthletesFemale Athlete Screening Tool¬†(FAST)- A screening survey for eating disorders in female athletes.¬†
  • RED-S (Triad)- The LEAF questionnaire is a screening tool to assess risk of female athlete triad.
  • Eating Disorder Male AthletesValidated in Males (EAT-51)- screening survey validated in males.
  • Food SecurityFood Security Screening Tool– Adapted from the USDA 6-item food security screening instrument. I made it into a google form.
  • SleepAthlete Sleep Screening– a brief survey to assess sleep optimization in athletes.

Step 2: Inputs

What resources do you have… or need?

  • Accepting Interns– Fill out this form with the Academy and you’ll be on the list as an intern preceptor.
  • Evaluating Volunteers- Here’s a score card I’ve developed to evaluate workers. I recommend doing this for each position to formalize your volunteer efforts. Here’s another more detailed role.
  • Internship Marketing– Here is an example handout I developed to find volunteers and interns for my program.

Step 3: Outputs

What services do you provide?

  • Education Toolkit Folder- Here is a collection of various educational resources I’ve made for my athletes
  • Basic NutritionUSDA Myplate– Basic nutrition guidelines. Still a good resource for athletes.
  • Sports Nutrition HandoutsSports Nutrition Handouts– from the CPSDA sports dietitian group. One of my favorite resources and practice groups.
  • Sports Nutrition HandoutsMore Sports Nutrition Handouts– from SCAN dpg group. Another one of my favorite resources and practice groups.
  • Education Course Design- Here’s an example and template of a sports nutrition course. You can use the lesson plans or modify to your preference. This is my own design btw.
  • Education Program Development– This manuscript can serve as a guide for program planning, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Education Program Development- This report from Brown & Tenison outline their administration of a sports nutrition education program that utilized student helpers.
  • HOME BREWED COLLECTION– Resources I’ve made for my athletes over the years:
  • Athlete Nutrition Guidebook (still a work in progress)
  • Nutrition Balance– handout on nutrient and calorie density
  • Hydration– handout on dehydration and sport
  • Meal Planning– worksheet for developing a meal plan
  • Nutrient Timing– worksheet for eating before/during/after training
  • Meal Timing– infographic on how to time meals before competition
  • Smoothie Ingredients– infographic for making healthy smoothies
  • Snack List– on the go snack suggestions for athletes
  • Muscle Building Plate– infographic for weight gain strategies for sport

Step 4: Outcomes

What changed?

Outcomes are a result of your program efforts. In this level, you will revisit any initial assessments you performed for a post-test (before and after of food logs, body composition assessment, blood work, knowledge tests, etc.) For example, if you administered the knowledge assessment (from step 1) before the semester, you could administer the same test after the semester to compare gains in knowledge.

If you didn’t measure something initially, you can still use a retrospective post-test surveys to measure perception of change. An example question pair might be “Rate on a scale of 1-5 (from low to high), your level of hydration knowledge before participating in our program. Now rate 1-5, your level of hydration knowledge after participating in our program.

After you have gathered all of your outcome data, you will have everything you need to complete a formal evaluation and report of your program.


Were you effective?

Formative evaluation is meant to improve a service or process in your program. This occurs at every step and can be as informal as asking a coach and players about their thoughts on your presentation, or something formal like a quiz given at the end of your presentation. In both of these examples, the aim is to improve your presentations. If you are giving a series of nutrition presentations (team talks), it may benefit you to get some feedback on the first couple so you can have a greater impact with the rest.

Summative evaluation is meant to measure impact. Here you will arrange your data into easily digestible summaries, tables, and figures to form a report. The summative evaluation will (1) provide you with insights for program improvement (2) provide justification for budget increases for future initiatives and (3) help the profession by building up data on the impact of using a sports dietitian.

*Note* If you found any of this information useful, please help me out by responding to my brief survey with your feedback.

Speaking & Consulting Inquiry– I am available to speak at conferences or consulting for your sports nutrition program. Contact me with questions!

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