Hydration is the one of the top priorities when fall sports start work in August.
The Fredericksburg High School coaches who handle the outdoors sports on the fall schedule — football, cross country and tennis — all agree on one thing: it’s not just what the players drank today.
The days leading up to the first practice are crucial in making sure young athletes are ready to sweat under the Texas sun.
Here’s what the coaches have to say about hydration during the first month of practice:
• Lance Moffett, FHS head football coach and athletic director: “You can’t (just) hydrate today. If you’re hydrated today, it’s because of what you drank this weekend. Teenagers notoriously have terrible diets, don’t take care of their bodies and have this Superman complex that they’ll be okay. So they don’t do what they need to do. We keep an eye on them.”
The Billies start fall practice in the afternoon for the first time in three years, making the heat more of an issue than in the past few years.
“I’m excited that we’re getting to do it this year. We haven’t done this in a couple of years. Knock on wood, we’ve been very good about not having heat exhaustion,” Moffett said.
• Randall King, FHS head tennis coach: “The kids that have been out here obviously know (good hydration habits). It’s more that you’re dealing with kids. You just have to remind them. The more you remind them, the better they get. Of course, you always have that one kid who just has a little cup of water (to practice). We tell them, ‘If you have your water jug, you can have a water break any time.”
King says the tennis court surface adds about 10-15 degrees in heat, depending on the height of the sun, so hydration becomes a big deal right out of the gate.
“Early on, in the beginning of the season, (we talk about recovery) a lot, every day right now, through two-a-days and the first few days of school. It gradually tapers off when you start seeing kids doing what they’re supposed to do.”
• Dan Aldrich: FHS head cross country coach: “They need to make sure they’re hydrated before they come here, which means they need to be urinating clear before they come to practice. Two hours before practice, we recommend that they drink a full bottle of water, which is 16-ounces. Fifteen minutes before we start practice, they’re drinking a half to a full bottle of water. Throughout the workout, about every 10 to 15 minutes, they’re drinking about half a bottle of water.”