Tournament play during the summer can mean players are out in the sun for hours – if it is very hot they need to know how to survive the temperature and keep themselves fit for competition.
Here are 10 tips to help youth players stay safe and perform well in hot weather during summer tournaments:
Remember, these tips are not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any specific concerns or medical conditions, consult with a healthcare professional before participating in any activities in extreme heat.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the games to prevent dehydration. Carry a water bottle and sip regularly.
- Dress appropriately: Wear lightweight, breathable, and light-colored clothing that allows sweat to evaporate. Consider wearing a hat and sunglasses to protect from the sun.
- Apply sunscreen: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Reapply it every few hours.
- Take breaks: Take regular breaks in shaded areas or indoors to rest and cool down. Avoid extended periods of direct sunlight.
- Monitor weather conditions: Stay informed about the weather forecast and heat index. If conditions are extreme, consider rescheduling or adjusting the tournament schedule.
- Seek shade: Look for shaded areas during breaks to escape direct sunlight and lower your body temperature. Use umbrellas or pop-up tents for additional shade.
- Use cooling strategies: Use wet towels, ice packs, or cooling neck wraps to keep your body temperature down. Take advantage of misting fans, if available.
- Eat light, nutritious meals: Choose foods that are easy to digest and provide energy. Opt for fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid heavy, greasy, or spicy foods.
- Listen to your body: Pay attention to signs of heat-related illnesses such as dizziness, nausea, fatigue, cramps, or excessive sweating. If you experience any symptoms, seek medical assistance.
- Get sufficient rest: Make sure to get enough sleep the night before the tournament and prioritize rest between matches. Proper rest helps your body cope with the heat and perform better.