You just sort of expect that the week you officially start soccer practices – it’ll be the hottest week of the year, and possibly on record. With our teams starting practice on Monday, we’ve set a new high temperature Monday, Tuesday, and Today, with temperatures of 99 or higher. With extremely high temperatures forecast for much of the country this week, it’s a great time to highlight good hydration tips for youth soccer players.
The USSF Hydration Guide is an excellent primer on proper hydration for young athletes as well as a good resource in identifying signs of heat stress:
To help make the recommendations easy to remember, the U.S. Soccer Federation has developed the acronym G.O.A.L., which stands for:
- Get acclimated – bodies need time to gradually adapt to increased exposure to high temperatures and humidity (especially young athletes).
- On schedule drinking- Youth athletes should be encouraged to drink on a schedule before they become thirsty, and should drink before, during and after practice and games.
- Always bring a sports drink- replacing electrolytes and providing energy is crucial to keeping kids safe and performing at their best.
- Learn the signs – if someone becomes unusually fatigued, dizzy, and nauseous or has a headache during exercise in the heat, have them stop, rest and drink fluids.
There is much much more, so give it a read. League administrators should send this guide out to parents AND coaches, every time the temperatures get excessive or at least once per season. Not enough players drink the proper amount of fluids before they get to practice.