After doing this for years I have compiled a list of do’s and don’ts tips. Keep in mind I am not a medical expert, but just a coach whose been around a ton of kids.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Hydration doesn’t start on the practice field, it starts at home. A youth athlete should drink water through out the day to ensure that they are properly hydrated when they hit the practice field. They should continue there hydration up until 30 minutes before practice and periodically during practice. Not being properly hydrated can be very dangerous and needs to be taken very seriously.
Avoid Soda, Gatorade Type Drinks and Energy Drinks.
These types of drinks do not help you get hydrated. True the Gatorade type drinks help you re-hydrate and replenish, but it is designed for after the fact.
Energy drinks should not be drank by youth athletes at any time. They are loaded with caffeine and sugars and can potentially overload a young players system. Stay away.
Talk to your parents on your team and let them know hydration is one of the most important aspects of helping their child be successful and staying healthy. Have a great and safe season!