Extreme heat can impact players' health and safe play. Proper hydration and knowing when you need to drink are critical, to help prevent many injuries and illnesses, from muscle cramps to heat stroke. Players should drink water before, during and after a game or practice, which means coaches should make sure there is adequate water available. U.S. Soccer’s Recognize to Recover program gives players, parents, coaches and referees information and guidelines to make sure the desire to play does not cloud the decision-making process when it comes to evaluating environmental conditions to ensure the safety of those on the field.
- Add hydration breaks
- Shorten practice
- Practice early or late in the day when temperatures are lower
- Use less-strenuous training activities during practice
Thirst is a warning that your body is already in an early stage of dehydration. Drink when you are thirsty. Recognizing the signs of dehydration are important because the amount of water required will vary from player to player.
- Dry, sticky mouth
- Sleepiness or tiredness
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Rapid heartbeat
- Rapid breathing
- In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness