With the end of summer vacation comes a very exciting time for athletes of all ages: training for the next season of fall sports. From ESPN to Friday Night Lights, fall sports are a major part of American culture. Nevertheless, we must remember the safety concerns that arise with summer training and the solutions that can eliminate illness and injury.
Here at the Heights Agency, we are excited to watch our community come together behind its athletes. We also hope you will remember these simple tips to keep our competitors safe this summer and fall.
- Drink before thirst: The first sign of thirst is the first of dehydration, and a player's goal should be to drink with enough frequency that he or she is not thirsty during play. Young children especially need their parents help in remembering to drink enough, particularly when they have yet to have that thirsty reminder.
Remember this easy formula: Multiply 0.5 ounces of water times the Body Weight in Pounds to find the Daily Requirement (in ounces) any individual body requires.
- Regardless of energy levels, rest often: Too many people underestimate the amount of rest necessary for athletes between practices. Before and after practice, be sure to stretch, relax their muscles, and fuel their bodies with enough nutrients to make the training count. Parents can also underestimate the amount of rest even a high-energy child requires. Be sure to encourage your children to take a break, if they feel they need one or not.
- No matter the weather, protect from the sun: UV rays can penetrate the cloudiest, rainiest day possible. Whether it’s a game, a practice, or a simple walk from home, make sure to apply enough water-proof sun block to protect for the duration of even a sunless day.
- Remember weather-appropriate equipment: The hot sun and hot pavement can cause unexpected damage; heat can actually begin to melt a rubber running shoe, which takes away from the support and can cause ankle injuries. When training in hot summer months, try gel shoes that stay cooler and hold their shape more effectively than the traditional rubber.
- Remember to eat! While water is essential, consuming solid foods can also aid in keeping players safe. On practice days, feed athletes large but nutritious meals with enough time to digest before play. Solid calories, in addition to water, have been known to help keep an exerted body cool.
This summer and always, remember that proper safety techniques make the games more enjoyable for everyone involved. We look forward to watching our athletes succeed this fall!