When to Push Harder vs. When to Allow for Hydration/Recovery

By Derek Smith, FNF Coaches Contributor

5 Precautions That Should Be Built Into Every Difficult Practice

  • Prior to the season all coaches, athletic training personnel and first responders working with the team should review the signs and symptoms of heat illness and the emergency action plan for their school. A certified athletic trainer or first responder should be in attendance at all practices and games.
  • Athletes should begin practices and training activities adequately hydrated. Provide unlimited drinking opportunities during hotter practices. Never withhold water from athletes.
  • A Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) chart should be available at practices. If an instrument to assess WBGT is unavailable, the heat and humidity guidelines chart should be used.
  • High temperatures and high humidity are potentially dangerous for athletes. In these conditions, lower the intensity of practices and increase the frequency and duration of rest breaks, and consider reducing uniform and protective equipment.
  • Recognize early signs of distress and developing exertional heat illness (weakness, nausea/vomiting, paleness, headache, lightheadedness). Promptly remove from activity, and treat appropriately. First aid should not be delayed.

Source: North Carolina High School Athletic Association 

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