Special Olympics Southern California Athletes Train Together

Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) athletes had the unique opportunity to train alongside athletes headed to the NFL Scouting Combine* in March at Proactive Sports Performance in Orange County. Hosted by Herbalife Nutrition, the sports and nutrition performance training focused on strength building, agility, performance nutrition and mental preparation. Myself along with Ryan Capretta, Proactive Sports Performance founder and former professional football strength and speed coach, worked with the 10 SOSC athletes in attendance who also received on-site advice, tips, and motivational talks from the athletes preparing for the Combine.

“I learned how to do the slide, how to squat and I learned a bunch of exercise techniques,” said SOSC athlete Adam Hogan, a 13-year veteran of Special Olympics who likes to play floor hockey and basketball.

Aside from the training exercises, the goal was to have a few nutrition take-homes that the athletes can incorporate into their daily routine. For this group, we stressed the importance of making your plate at each meal as colorful as possible so that you get a variety of nutrients in your diet.

“SOSC benefits Adam in so many ways,” said Teresa Hogan, Adam’s mom. “It’s had a positive impact on his health, fitness and friendships; and it’s taught him about sportsmanship and being on a team. To see them all play and compete and have friendships, it’s just pure joy. Adam has grown in so many ways.”

“Herbalife has been wonderful. We had a great time training at the Proactive gym,” said Ticky Goran, a parent, team coach and program coordinator in Orange County. “Our team was able to train and eat with the athletes and go to the scouting event. It was really cool.”

Herbalife Nutrition has worked with Proactive over the past 3+ years to help optimize their elite athlete program through sports nutrition. I work alongside the athletes to assess each individual’s fitness goals and aims to complement their training with a targeted product mix and meal plan.

We had a great time working with the SOSC athletes and it was truly inspirational to see their dedication and commitment not only to their sport, but to their nutrition as well.

*Herbalife Nutrition has no affiliation with the NFL.

Dana Ryan, PhD, M.A. – Director, Sport Performance and Education

Dana RyanPh.D., MBA, M.A. – Director, Sport Performance and Education

Dana Ryan completed her doctorate in physical activity, nutrition, and wellness at Arizona State University. Before joining Herbalife Nutrition, she taught exercise physiology and related courses at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA), and has conducted research at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) on the impact of community-based nutrition and physical activity programs on heart disease risk.