Every year hell week approaches and so does the intense heat and tragic news of heat related deaths of a young athlete.
Football is a demanding sport and there things you can do to improve performance and keep your young athletes safe.
Here are a few important tips that can help your young athlete acclimate to the heat and keep players safe from getting over heated or get a heat induced illness.
1. Ice and cold compresses can be used to refresh and bring down the body temperature quickly. They should always be on hand at practice, but make sure you supply your son with what he may need so there is no question he will be safe.
2. Have electrolyte water, or a SPORT drink, like a Gatorade (less food coloring the better to avoid headaches). I personally recommend powders, like Recharge by R.W. Knudsen, because you can control the amount of ingredients going into the drink and the color comes from vegetables. Please do not use energy drinks! Energy drinks have caffeine and taurine, which will dehydrate an athlete and make an athlete prone to cramping, headaches and fatigue.
3. Avoid a sugary diet and snacks like candy! They may feel they get a quick pick me up but it will burn quickly thru a young athlete, and can also increase dehydration, leading to headaches and fatigue.
4. Know the signs of dehydration: dry mouth, thirst, headaches, dizziness, cramps, irritability and excessive fatigue.
5. Know the signs of heat stroke and heat exhaustion: nausea or vomiting, dizziness, weakness, pale skin, increased heart rate, combativeness and stomach cramps.
6. Do not have your son practice or compete if coming off an illness the next day. For example a cold, asthma attack or flu like illness wears down the body and hydration. Let him rebuild his tolerance to the sport again for a couple of days.
7. Eat at least one hour before practice with a balanced meal-again free of unnecessary sugars like soda or candy.
8. Post practice and game: Cool down the player with electrolyte fluids, and bring his temperature down in a “cool down” mode. Showers should be luke warm and then a good dinner. Proteins, vegetables and a slow release starch like brown rice or sweet potatoes and your son will feel stronger and endurance will be improved.
9. Lastly, but maybe most importantly… there is a lot of hype about being tough and pushing through the pain. Use common sense when it comes to playing in the heat and knowing the warning signs and each players limits. Too often these signs are ignored and it ends up being tragic news that not only could end an athletic career, but a life… it is just not worth it!
Hope these suggestions are helpful as we want to help you do your best to keep your sons and young athletes healthy and safe for a great upcoming Football Season.
Here at Arete we look at the unique potential of every athlete and we maximize it through strength training, safety and prevention, nutrition and unparalleled service and encouragement. If you have questions or concerns about your son or daughter and their upcoming season in sports or their safety… please do not hesitate to call or contact us!
Phone: (949)542-5100 Contact Us By Email
Stay Cool & Strong,