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Coaches & families need watch hydration levels well

08/11/2013, 9:00pm CDT
By By Will Frasure

Players aren’t the only ones needing proper hydration during hot months.

Coaches experience the same high temperatures as their players during practices. Most of the time, they do similar exercises as their players, such as throwing and running. This means they have to be just as cognizant about hydration as their players.

“Coaches are similar to the athletes, although they don’t exercise at the same intensity as the players,” said JohnEric Smith, a member of USA Football’s Football and Wellness Committee and a senior scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. “They’re going to be sweating a lot, so having a hydration plan is also a must for them.”

For parents and family members attending games, it’s important to be aware of places they can replenish fluids lost while in the heat. Watching from a shady spot can help but it isn’t prevention, and young children running around while their older siblings play can lead to dehydration, too.

In Texas, an assistant coach succumbed to heat illness in recent days. Wade McClain, 55, died Monday after collapsing during his team's first mandatory practice. He was Prestonwood Academy's defensive coordinator. Monday was the 31st consecutive day of 100-degree heat in Texas.

“Just because you’re not active doesn’t mean you’re not losing fluids,” Smith said. “That’s what parents have to realize when they’re watching the games in the heat.”

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